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 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 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 September 25 – 27, 2015.

This weekend, animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 hits over 3,600 theaters, The Intern plays in more than 3,150 theaters, The Green Inferno debuts in more than 1,500 theaters, and Everest expands nationwide.

#1 – Hotel Transylvania 2

Our pick for first is Hotel Transylvania 2, a sequel to the animated hit from 2012. The original film didn’t set the box office on fire, but it still posted very strong numbers, with $148.3 million total for its domestic run. It also grossed an impressive $42.5 million in its first three days, showing that it’s never wise to bet against family programming. Even with a less-than-stellar critical reception, the first Transylvania proved to be a profitable endeavor.

The second installment in the franchise is expected to be more of the same. It’s currently projected to bring in $37 million in its opening weekend, which is a little below what the first film made. However, given that three years have passed between movies (and the first isn’t exactly an animation classic in the vein of the best from Pixar and DreamWorks), the demand for another stay in the Hotel Transylvania may have decreased. That’s not to say it won’t have a fairly easy road to the top spot, it’s just not going to be an Inside Out or Minions in terms of box office hauls.

hotel transylvania 2 trailer Box Office Prediction: Scorch Trials vs. Hotel Transylvania 2


#2 – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Look for last week’s champ, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (read our review) to fall to second in its second weekend. As far as young adult adaptations go, Maze Runner is still on the lower end of the totem poll, making a solid but unremarkable $30.3 million during its opening weekend. The popularity of the source material may be enough to keep it hanging around, but it does have limited appeal in terms of a widespread audience. Especially since it opened relatively low (when compared to similar titles), business is going to start to decrease.

#3 – Everest

Our choice for third is Everest (read our review), which surprisingly opened in fifth last week. We say surprisingly because it had an IMAX only opening of 545 locations and still managed to bring in $7.2 million. As those figures would indicate, there is an interest in seeing this one on the big screen. As Everest is now expanding nationwide, those numbers should only increase as Universal tries to capitalize on the positive word-of-mouth. The film may not be a bona fide Oscar contender, but it’s still seen as an intense experience that plays well on premium formats. That should be enough to draw in a big crowd.

everest movie josh brolin jason clarke jake gyllenhaal Box Office Prediction: Scorch Trials vs. Hotel Transylvania 2


#4 – The Intern

Coming in fourth should be The Intern, a new comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. Both leads have been in their fair share of box office hits, but this does not look like it will be one of them. The film is entering theaters with little buzz or fan fare, meaning it will be difficult for it to stand out from everything else that’s currently playing. Also, most of the past commercial successes for the main actors have come in projects when they’ve been part of a larger ensemble, as opposed to the headlining attractions (suggesting their box office prowess is not as strong as the studio would hope). Still, it is getting generally positive early reviews and should be able to find some traction as a counter-programming option for audiences looking for a “smaller” film. Tracking is currently at $16 million.

#5 – Black Mass

Rounding out the top five should be Black Mass (read our review). The true crime drama starring Johnny Depp had a modest debut of $22.6 million, but the word-of-mouth has been a little divisive. That reception may prevent it from becoming a major box office hit, as there doesn’t seem to be a sense that this is something audiences have to see in theaters. As the marketplace becomes a little more crowded, this one should start to fall down the charts.

Last Week’s Recap

Our Picks:

  1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  2. Black Mass
  3. The Perfect Guy
  4. The Visit
  5. A Walk in the Woods

Actuals:

  1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  2. Black Mass
  3. The Visit
  4. The Perfect Guy
  5. Everest

Next Week: The Martian, Sicario, and more!

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