Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend 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 last weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge 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 September 22 – 24, 2017.

This weekend, Friend Request plays in 2,569 locations, Kingsman: The Golden Circle debuts in 4,003 theaters, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie opens in 4,047 locations.

#1 – Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Coming in first should be Kingsman: The Golden Circle (read our review), the sequel to 2015’s surprise espionage hit. A couple of years ago, director Matthew Vaughn reinvigorated the spy genre with Kingsman: The Secret Service, which made $128.2 million through its domestic run. The film won viewers over with its irreverent sense of fun and thrilling action sequences, spawning a new franchise for Fox in the process. Following the success of the first film, interest in a followup was high – especially when it was revealed Golden Circle would add a bevy of A-listers to the ensemble cast, including Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and Julianne Moore. The newcomers are playing the Statesman, the American counterpart to the U.K.’s Kingsman – setting the stage for a fascinating dynamic. Marketing has showcased the sequel has more of what people loved about the original, which should lead to strong results.

If there’s one hurdle Kingsman 2 needs to clear, it’s that the critical reception has been much more muted when compared to its predecessor. While some feel it’s an entertaining extension of the world, others believe it failed to recapture that magic and doesn’t feel as fresh. The mixed response could dissuade some casual viewers from making the trek to the theater to see it, but it shouldn’t outright kill the film’s commercial prospects. Action fans have had to wait for a while for a new film, and outside of IT, the landscape is still somewhat barren in regards to competition. Tracking indicates Golden Circle will make $41.5 million in its first three days.

Colin Firth Taron Egerton and Halle Berry in Kingsman 2 Box Office Prediction: LEGO Ninjago vs. Kingsman 2

#2 – The LEGO Ninjago Movie

Our pick for second is The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which is the latest spinoff film in Warner Bros,’ LEGO film franchise. The property looked like it would be a flagship brand for the studio back in 2014 when the original LEGO Movie brought in $257.7 million in the U.S. However, in the years since, enthusiasm for the brand seems to have cooled off a little bit. Despite earning positive reviews from critics and fans, The LEGO Batman Movie arguably underperformed at the box office earlier this year when it grossed $175.7 million in its domestic run. Even with a popular character like the Caped Crusader at the forefront, there wasn’t a ton of interest in seeing more of the LEGO universe onscreen. That doesn’t bode well for Ninjago, and it has something else to overcome.

Ninjago can accurately be described as the LEGO franchise’s first real critical dud, with some calling it derivative and lazy as it delivers diminished returns. Whatever goodwill Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s energetic LEGO Movie earned seems to have been spent, and as a result, Ninjago faces an uphill climb. Its status as a family film means not all is lost, but it certainly isn’t going to challenge the numbers typically posted by Pixar and DreamWorks due to the poor word-of-mouth and general lack of buzz (there weren’t any Thursday preview screenings). Projections have it pegged for $38 million in its first three days, which would be the lowest debut for a LEGO movie by far.

#3 – IT

The two-time reigning champ, IT (read our review), looks like it will slide to third in its third weekend. After a prolonged slump at the box office, the Stephen King adaptation gave the marketplace the shot in the arm it needed by rewriting the September record books on a seemingly daily basis, making all of its competition float in its wake. Now, however, with two new wide releases arriving in theaters, IT is set to take a little bit of a hit in terms of ticket sales. There will still be interest due to the word-of-mouth, but Pennywise is about to yield the #1 position.

Pennywise Attacking Eddie in IT Box Office Prediction: LEGO Ninjago vs. Kingsman 2

#4 – American Assassin

Our pick for fourth is American Assassin (read our review), which came in second last week with $14.8 million. Though the thriller was the first new arrival of its kind in a while, it didn’t make much of an impact at the box office in its opening weekend. As such, it’s unlikely the film has strong legs and doesn’t hang around the top of the charts for much longer.

#5 – Home Again

Rounding out the top five should be Home Again. The film came in fourth last week with $5.1 million and should continue to play as a counter-programming option for its target demographic for at least one more weekend.

Last Week’s Recap

Our Picks

  • IT
  • American Assassin
  • mother!
  • Home Again
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Actuals

  • IT
  • American Assassin
  • mother!
  • Home Again
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Next Week: Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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