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 The Last Witch Hunter‘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 30 – November 1, 2015.

This weekend, Our Brand is Crisis opens in over 2,200 theaters, Burnt debuts in more than 2,400 theaters, and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse will play in 1,500 locations.

#1 – The Martian

Our choice for the top spot is The Martian (read our review), which reclaimed #1 last week as the newcomers underperformed. The latest film from Ridley Scott is clearly the people’s champion thanks to the very positive word-of-mouth and stellar reviews. With the latest crop of films arriving without much buzz, it seems like the stage is set for The Martian to post more strong numbers. Even though business is starting to slow down, none of the other options have that much widespread appeal for audiences.

Matt Damon as Mark Watney The Martian Movie 2015 Box Office Prediction: The Martian vs. Our Brand is Crisis

#2 – Goosebumps

Coming in second should be Goosebumps (read our review), which came in this spot last week with $15.5 million. The film should be engaged in another close battle for first with The Martian, and with Halloween happening over the weekend, families will certainly be in the mood for a fun scare at the movies. And since none of the other films currently playing are in high-demand, Goosebumps will be able to have another fruitful three days.

#3 – Our Brand is Crisis

In a very distant third should be Our Brand is Crisis, a new political dramedy starring Sandra Bullock. The actress has proven she’s more than capable of headlining a hit, as she’s recently been in Gravity ($274 million) and The Heat ($159.5). Bullock is popular among moviegoers, but it seems like Crisis will be an end to her hot streak. It’s coming into theaters without much fanfare or that coveted Oscar buzz, which is a must for “smaller” films like this to score big at the box office.

The marketing campaign has used the “from the producers of Argo” tagline, but unfortunately Our Brand is Crisis is not from the director of Argo. The early reviews have been mostly negative, meaning it’s unlikely that it can appeal to enough people to break the bank. Tracking is an indicator of this, as it’s projected to bring in just $7.5 million for opening weekend.

Billy Bob Thorton Sandra Bullock Our Brand is Crisis Box Office Prediction: The Martian vs. Our Brand is Crisis

#4 – Bridge of Spies

Our pick for fourth is Bridge of Spies (read our review), which maintained its third place standing last week with $11.3 million. The historical drama is far from one of Steven Spielberg’s biggest hits, but it’s holding well and the strong word-of-mouth will keep it afloat for another couple of weeks.

#5 – Burnt

Rounding out the top five should be Burnt, a new chef drama starring Bradley Cooper as a bad boy cook looking to straighten his life out. Cooper has been on fire as of late, as he’s starred in a trio of Best Picture nominees that also sold a lot of tickets. Silver Linings Playbook ($132 million), American Hustle ($150.1 million), and American Sniper ($350.1 million) all established the actor as an A-list movie star. However, it seems as if Oscar buzz is a prerequisite for one of his vehicles to find commercial success.

Earlier this year, Cooper headlined Cameron Crowe’s flop Aloha ($21 million), meaning that his name alone isn’t enough to bring in viewers. The bad news for Burnt is that the early reviews have been negative, meaning that even Cooper’s charms may not be enough to save its commercial prospects. It’s currently projected to make $9 million. That’s a little higher than Our Brand is Crisis, but it’s honestly difficult to predict where those two might end up. Neither are expected to do much, and Crisis at least has WB backing. It’s a toss up.

Last Week’s Recap

Our Picks:

  1. The Last Witch Hunter
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. Goosebumps
  4. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
  5. Bridge of Spies

Actuals:

  1. The Martian
  2. Goosebumps
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. The Last Witch Hunter
  5. Hotel Transylvania 2

Next Week: Spectre, The Peanuts Movie, and more!

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

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