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 X-Men: Days of Future Pasts 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 May 30 – June 2, 2014.

This weekend, fantasy retelling Maleficent debuts in 3,800 theaters and western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West opens in over 3,000 locations. On the limited front, Night Moves plays on 2 screens while Filth gets an unspecified release.

#1 – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Look for last week’s champ, X-Men: Days of Future Past (read our review) to finish in the top spot once again this week. Taking advantage of positive buzz and the Memorial Day weekend, Fox’s latest superhero adaptation had an extremely successful opening, bringing in $90.8 million during its first three days ($110.5 million for the four-day weekend). That’s the second-highest debut for an X-Men film, indicating that the franchise has earned the goodwill of audiences once again.

Typically, major tentpoles like Days of Future Past see a big decline in their second weekend, but we think Wolverine and company will be able to buck that trend. The film will be riding on strong word-of-mouth and this week’s new releases are not necessarily targeting the same demographic. It will be a tight contest, but Days of Future Past looks poised to stay on top for at lease one more week.

James McAvoy Michael Fassbender and Hugh Jackman in X Men Days of Future Past Box Office Prediction: X Men: Days of Future Past vs. Maleficent

#2 – Maleficent

Our choice for second is the fantasy film Maleficent. A new spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, the film marks the latest attempt at “reimagining” a famous story for a new audience. The box office results in this genre are all over the place, ranging from outright successes (Oz: The Great and Powerful; $234.9 million) to moderately lucrative (Snow White and the Huntsman; $155.3 million) to flat-out bombs (Jack the Giant Slayer; $65.1 million).

We think that Maleficent will fall more on the “profitable” side of that scale for a few reasons. First, the film is rated PG, meaning that it will fill a void in the marketplace, which is currently without a traditional “family friendly” option. Also, the film’s extensive marketing campaign has consistently highlighted the presence of star Angelina Jolie, who appears to be chewing up the scenery as the titular villain. She’s not a guaranteed box office draw, but Jolie is a big name to have on the poster and she has a few hits under her belt, indicating that she has the star power to draw people to the theater. Early tracking estimates the opening weekend in the $64 million range.

#3 – A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane’s latest comedy, A Million Ways to Die in the West, is our choice for third. The Family Guy creator’s last film, 2012’s Ted was a monumental hit, grossing $218.8 million for its domestic run. Despite his polarizing brand of humor, it’s clear that MacFarlane has a sizable audience ready for whatever he has to offer next.

That said, A Million Ways to Die in the West probably won’t be as successful as its predecessor. First, the competition is much stronger than what Mark Wahlberg and his bear faced when they opened – as X-Men will have another strong outing and Maleficent is set to be the next big movie. Secondly, the demand for R-rated comedy may not be as high as it was when Ted was released. The success of Neighbors gave fans something to check out and 22 Jump Street is right around the corner. MacFarlane’s western spoof will post solid numbers in its own right, but don’t expect it to be a crossover hit like some comedies become.

a million ways to die in the west trailer Box Office Prediction: X Men: Days of Future Past vs. Maleficent

#4 – Godzilla

Coming in fourth should be Godzilla (read our review). Gareth Edwards’ disaster film is one of the biggest movies of the year so far, grossing $155.7 million domestically through two weeks, but it looks like its time at the top of the charts will be short lived. Despite positive reviews, the film fell 66.8% during its second week, illustrating that it won’t have strong legs as its theatrical run continues. It’s big enough to remain in the top five for another week, but business will continue to go down as two more high profile releases hit the multiplex.

#5 – Blended

Rounding out the top five should be Blended (read our review). Adam Sandler’s new vehicle opened softer than his previous efforts, making only $14.2 million during its first three days. Comedy fans will flock to A Million Ways to Die in the West this week, lowering the demand for this even more. Still, Blended’s PG-13 rating makes it the “safer” option for moviegoers looking for a laugh.

#10 – Rio 2

Our tiebreaker this week is Rio 2 (read our review) which finished in eighth place last week.

That’s it for this week’s breakdown.

Screen Rant Underground Logo Header Box Office Prediction: X Men: Days of Future Past vs. Maleficent

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):

  • Maleficent – 3,800 theaters
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West – 3,000+ theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Night Moves – 2 theaters
  • Filth – 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 (X-Men: Days of Future Pasts opening): Sal reports that Chris B. and blackknight16 tied with perfect 15s and identical tiebreakers.

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 – X-Men: Days of Future Past (3)
  • #2 – Godzilla (3)
  • #3 – Blended (3)
  • #4 – Neighbors (3)
  • #5 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3)
  • #10 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Final Score: 15 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)

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