Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend – in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle – to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week’s box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Fury‘s opening weekend – and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our previous picks measured up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge that our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of October 24 – 26, 2014.

This weekend, action flick John Wick debuts in 2,450 theaters, while horror movie Ouija opens in 2,750 locations. In limited release, 23 Blast plays in 650 theaters, Citizenfour is released on five screens, and Laggies and White Bird in a Blizzard both get unspecified releases. St. Vincent also has nationwide expansion.

#1 – John Wick

Our pick for the top spot this week is the new action movie, John Wick. Despite early tracking indicating just an $11 million opening weekend, we think that this film will be able to exceed those expectations and become a viable hit. Early reviews have been extremely positive, with several outlets calling it one of the best movies of the year and praising star Keanu Reeves’ performance. This type of production (established Hollywood veteran murders everyone in a homicidal, vengeful rampage) has proven to be very popular with moviegoers in recent years, as the numbers posted by Taken and The Equalizer prove.

Reeves obviously isn’t the same kind of box office draw he was in the 1990s, when Speed and The Matrix made him a household name, and his latest offerings have illustrated that fact. Last year’s 47 Ronin bombed with just $38.3 million domestically. However, we think this could mark the actor’s comeback. John Wick is generating the kind of buzz and excitement Reeves’ previous efforts have lacked and now that he’s in the running for Marvel’s Doctor Strange, people have even more reasons to support him. We’d say Keanu’s back.

October Preview John Wick Box Office Prediction: John Wick vs. Ouija

#2 – Ouija

Our pick for second is Ouija. The board game adaptation should find a nice audience this week due to it being so close to Halloween, a factor that has helped tracking go up to $29 million. Readers will note that that’s significantly higher than the projected numbers for John Wick, but the actuals may play out a bit differently. When compared to the action film, Ouija has had a very small marketing campaign, meaning that awareness could be low. Also, early reviews aren’t available for the horror movie just yet, which is something that could influence some viewers to stay away and go with the “safer” pick. There will no doubt be a sizable turnout for Ouija, but with it not on a lot of radars, it will be tough for it to come out on top.

#3 – Fury

Look for last week’s champ, Fury (read our review), to drop to third in its second weekend. David Ayer’s war drama grossed $23.7 million in its first three days, which is a solid total and a slight increase from what Monuments Men did earlier this year. The film’s positive critical reception and strong audience word-of-mouth will keep it hanging around the top five for a couple more weeks, but it doesn’t look as if Fury will have strong legs. John Wick will eat into the adult demographic, while Ouija will draw in casual moviegoers looking for a scare (and not the horrors of World War II). The competition looks too stiff for Fury to pull off the repeat.

#4 – Gone Girl

Coming in fourth should be Gone Girl (read our review), which has quickly become one of David Fincher’s highest-grossing endeavors. In just three weeks of release, the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s popular novel has made $106.7 million, $17.5 million of which came last week. Even with strong competition in the form of Fury and John Wick, this awards contender should continue to post healthy numbers – thanks to the large following of the source material and the overall reception from critics and moviegoers alike. Its time in the top five may be coming to a close shortly, but for now, Gone Girl will sustain its impressive theatrical run.

Ben Affleck in Gone Girl Box Office Prediction: John Wick vs. Ouija

#5 – The Book of Life

Rounding out the top five should be The Book of Life (read our review). The animated film made a little over $17 million during its first three days, which is a respectable total, but not what people typically expect with a family movie. Due to the lack of competition for this coveted segment, the film should continue to do solid business for itself. While it’s not going to be the next LEGO Movie, it should still keep its spot in the top five for another week at least.

#10 – The Judge

Our tiebreaker this week is The Judge (read our review), which came in seventh last week.

Notes

Without knowing the exact total number of theaters St. Vincent is playing in, we can’t confidently put it in the top five. The film does have a famous cast with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in leading roles, which will help its commercial prospects, but it probably isn’t playing in enough locations to crack the top of the charts (Men, Women & Children‘s “nationwide” expansion last week was 608 theaters). Even if it was, the existing holdovers and new releases are poised to have strong weekends, making it unlikely this smaller film can hang in.

That’s it for this week’s breakdown.

Screen Rant Underground Logo Header Box Office Prediction: John Wick vs. Ouija

Now, if you want to participate in the weekly Box Office Battle, it’s time for you to make your picks! In the comments section below, post what you think will be the top five movies this weekend at the box office as well as your own number ten tiebreaker. Then, tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the results and find out who won.

Opening in theaters this week (Wide):

  • John Wick – 2,450 theaters
  • Ouija – 2,750 theaters
  • St. Vincent – unspecified nationwide expansion

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • 23 Blast – 600 theaters
  • Citizenfour – 5 theaters
  • Laggies – unspecified
  • White Bird in a Blizzard – unspecified

Box Office Battle Scoring Rules: You get three (3) points for each direct match with the weekend actuals and one (1) point for each movie placed within one spot of the exact position. A perfect score is 15 points. Tie-breakers are not worth any points but, in the event of a tie, the person with a tie-breaker selection closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.

Last Week’s Official Box Office Battle Reader Winner (Fury opening): Sal reports that blackknight16 won with a score of 13.

For the record, here are our picks from last week – along with the corresponding amount of points we received for each pick (listed in parenthesis).

  • #1 – Fury (3)
  • #2 – Gone Girl (3)
  • #3 – The Book of Life (3)
  • #4 – Dracula Untold (0)
  • #5 – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (1)
  • #10 – Addicted
  • Final Score: 10 points

Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results and tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the weekly winners!

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule); Box Office [1], [2] (Opening Weekend Projections)

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