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 Hotel Transylvania 2‘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 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 2 – 4, 2015.

This weekend, The Martian opens in an unspecified number of theaters nationwide, and Sicario expands nationwide. The Walk will get an IMAX only release on September 30.

#1 – The Martian

Coming in first this week should be The Martian, the new film from Ridley Scott starring Matt Damon. Scott has been in the middle of a commercial slump, as his recent films like The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings have struggled at the box office. Honestly, the same can be said for Damon, who hasn’t played a meaningful role in a $100 million hit since True Grit in 2010. However, it seems like that trend is going to change this time around for the pair.

In contrast to Scott’s previous movies, The Martian is generating a very enthusiastic critical response, and that word-of-mouth should carry it to a high gross in its first three days. Those who have seen it are calling it one of the year’s best films, and the marketing has made an impression with moviegoers – teasing a captivating tale of survival millions of miles away from home. Between Scott’s eye-catching visuals and the popularity of the source material novel, The Martian should have no problem reaching the top spot. It is projected to bring in $52 million opening weekend.

martian matt damon ridley scott1 Box Office Prediction: The Martian vs. Hotel Transylvania 2

#2 – Hotel Transylvania 2

Look for last week’s champ, Hotel Transylvania 2 (read our review) to fall to second in its second weekend. The animated film set a new September opening record over its first three days last week, but it wasn’t big enough to guarantee a repeat. It will still be a hit with families, especially given that it’s almost Halloween, but those without youngsters of their own don’t have any real incentive to check the movie out with other options playing right now.

#3 – Sicario

Our pick for third is Sicario (read our review), the new crime drama by director Denis Villeneuve. The film has been playing in limited release the past couple of weeks, and it found great success in just 59 theaters last weekend. It came in tenth with $1.7 million despite playing in so few locations. Now that the film is expanding nationwide (and is generating a lot of buzz), it should be able to capitalize and have a fruitful weekend. It may not be able to keep up with the higher-profile competition, but it should still do fine on its own and perhaps turn a profit for Lionsgate (the production budget was only $30 million).

Emily Blunt as Kate and Victor Garber in Sicario Box Office Prediction: The Martian vs. Hotel Transylvania 2

#4 – The Intern

Our choice for fourth is The Intern (read our review), which came in second last week with $17.7 million. The film has been moderately successful at the box office, but it doesn’t have the clout to keep drawing fairly sizable crowds in. This is another one that won’t be able to contend with the larger films that are attracting more attention.

#5 – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Rounding out the top five should be Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (read our review), which fell to third in its second week with $14.2 million. In the realm of young adult adaptations, this one clearly doesn’t have as widespread appeal as some of the similar titles. The fan base is still big enough to keep it hanging around, but most moviegoers will have their eyes on something else this weekend.

Last Week’s Recap

Our Picks:

  1. Hotel Transylvania 2
  2. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  3. Everest
  4. The Intern
  5. Black Mass

Actuals:

  1. Hotel Transylvania 2
  2. The Intern
  3. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  4. Everest
  5. Black Mass

Next Week: PanSteve Jobs, and more!

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule) and Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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