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 Purge: Election Year‘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 July 8 – 10.

This weekend, The Secret Life of Pets plays in 4,370 theaters and Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates debuts in 2,982.

#1 – The Secret Life of Pets

Our pick for first this week is The Secret Life of Pets (read our review), the latest animated film from Illumination entertainment. The studio has been behind some massive hits over the years, namely the Despicable Me franchise. Last year, their Minions set the box office on fire with $336 million domestically, and the marketing campaign for Pets has made sure to bring up that connection time and time again. The argument can be made that Illumination is working its way up to the level of Pixar and DreamWorks, becoming a top name in the genre.

Secret Life of Pets should be another hit on their résumé. Awareness for the film is clearly not an issue, as promotional materials have been visible for a period of months. The premise (what do pets do when we’re away?) definitely has a lot of potential and should generate interest due to a universal appeal. It’s true that Finding Dory has had the family demographic cornered for the last few weeks, but in the summer, there’s always room for more movies targeted at children. The reviews have been mostly positive, which should also help matters. Projections have it pegged for around $79 million during its first three days.

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#2 – Finding Dory

Look for the reigning champ, Finding Dory (read our review), to fall to second in its fourth weekend. Pixar’s newest blockbuster has dominated the multiplex since it opened in mid-June, becoming one of the few bright spots of the summer season. To date, it’s pulled in $402.2 million in the States and is close to passing Captain America: Civil War as the highest-grossing film of 2016 domestically. It should still be able to do solid business, but with the arrival of Secret Life of Pets, its numbers are going to take a bit of a hit.

#3 – The Legend of Tarzan

Coming in third should be The Legend of Tarzan (read our review), which surprised many by coming in second last week with $38.5 million. Even though it’s still a far cry from a hit, the film surpassed expectations, with an assist given to its star-studded cast. Many genre pictures this year have come and gone by the wayside, so Tarzan does fill a certain void in theaters; it’s appealed to those hungry for an action/adventure vehicle. It may not be the most successful film ever, but Tarzan will most likely continue to post modest figures until more high-profile projects arrive later this month.

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#4 – Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Our choice for fourth is Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (read our review), a new R-rated comedy about brothers on the hunt for dates to bring to their sister’s wedding. The film sports some big names in the cast, including Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Adam DeVine. In addition, R-rated comedies have been in demand over the past handful of years, as many similar titles (The Hangover, Bridesmaids) have been commercial smashes during the summer months. Fox is obviously hoping this offering can be the latest of the trend, but things aren’t looking so good for them.

To start, the reviews have skewed mostly to the negative side, with pundits saying that the interesting parts don’t add up to a satisfying whole. In addition, the box office prowess of Efron as a leading man isn’t as strong as studios would hope. Several of his previous vehicles have struggled in their opening weekends, such as Dirty Grandpa ($11.1 million), We Are Your Friends ($1.7 million), and That Awkward Moment ($8.7 million). While he has proven adept at comedy, he hasn’t been able to parlay that into high box office numbers. That’s expected to continue with Mike & Dave, which is expected to gross $10.5 million in its debut.

#5 – The BFG

Rounding out the top five should be The BFG (read our review). The film is a rare misfire for director Steven Spielberg, who has long been one of the most reliable names at the box office. For whatever reason, the public didn’t take to this charming tale of friendship, and since the interest was so low over its opening weekend, it’s unlikely that it turns things around. Families have plenty to choose from with Finding Dory and Secret Life of Pets, so the demand for BFG is borderline non-existent.

Last Week’s Recap

Our picks:

  1. Finding Dory
  2. The Purge: Election Year
  3. Independence Day: Resurgence
  4. The BFG
  5. The Legend of Tarzan

Actuals:

  1. Finding Dory
  2. The Legend of Tarzan
  3. The Purge: Election Year
  4. The BFG
  5. Independence Day: Resurgence

Next Week: Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets, and more!

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

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