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 Independence Day: Resurgence‘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 1 – 3.

This weekend, The BFG opens in 3,357 theaters, The Purge: Election Year debuts in 2,787 locations, and The Legend of Tarzan plays in 3,561 theaters.

#1 – Finding Dory

Look for the two time champ, Finding Dory (read our review), to pull off the three peat this weekend. The latest from Pixar Animation Studios has been one of the few bright spots at the box office this summer, already making $311.1 million domestically as of this writing. It’s been able to ride the positive buzz generated by the strong critical reception, as well as the popularity of Pixar in general. The figures Dory has posted over its first two weeks are so far ahead of the competition, it would take a massive fall for it to be knocked off the perch. Even with three new wide releases over the Fourth of July holiday, a majority of audiences will just keep swimming to the world of Dory, Marlin, and Nemo.

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#2 – The Purge: Election Year

Coming in second should be The Purge: Election Year, the third installment of a fairly successful horror franchise. The first two entries made $64.4 million and $71.9 million at the Stateside box office, respectively, illustrating that there is a demand for more movies in the series. Enough time has passed between Purge 3 and The Conjuring 2 that fans of the genre should be up for a new film, especially since the early reviews have been generally positive.

In addition, the timing could not be more perfect for Election Year. As many know, the United States is in the midst of a bizarre and polarizing presidential campaign cycle, one that has been a lighting rod for controversy. There’s a chance the latest Purge movie can serve up some social commentary that serves as catharsis for the audience. These films have never been runaway blockbuster hits, but Election Year should continue its standing as a profitable property Universal. Projections indicate a $30 million debut, playing in line with how the predecessors opened.

#3 – Independence Day: Resurgence

Our choice for third is Independence Day: Resurgence (read our review), which came in second last week with $41 million. Despite being a sequel to one of the most popular blockbusters of the 1990s, people weren’t very interested in seeing the aliens return for another fight. Resurgence is trailing the original by a considerable margin at this point in its run. The mixed critical reception didn’t do it any favors, diminishing the appeal. It’s unlikely Resurgence can turn things around, and it will have to rely on the international box office to save face.

IDR Gravity Box Office Prediction: The Purge 3 vs. The BFG

#4 – The BFG

Coming in fourth should be The BFG, the latest endeavor from legendary director Steven Spielberg. The old master has a long history of delivering box office hit after box office hit, as even Lincoln made $182.2 million in 2012. Even if he isn’t quite as prolific as he once was, Spielberg always finds a way to draw in a sizable audience; Bridge of Spies took in $72.3 million last year. Chances are BFG will continue his recent trend of moderately successful movies. Though it has scored mostly positive reviews ahead of its premiere, the Roald Dahl adaptation is arriving to theaters with little buzz and fan fare. Tracking indicates an opening weekend of $19.5 million.

#5 – The Legend of Tarzan

Rounding out the top five should be The Legend of Tarzan, the latest from veteran Harry Potter director David Yates. The film is based on a well-known character and has a largely recognizable cast that includes the likes of Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz. Still, those factors may not be enough to elevate it commercially. The early reviews have skewed mostly negative, with many calling it generic and sluggish. In a crowded marketplace, it has an uphill climb if it is to make an impact. Currently projected for $21.5 million, the poor word-of-mouth could serve as the final nail in the coffin, opening the door for BFG to surpass it.

Last Week’s Recap

Our picks:

  1. Finding Dory
  2. Independence Day: Resurgence
  3. Central Intelligence
  4. The Shallows
  5. Free State of Jones

Actuals:

  1. Finding Dory
  2. Independence Day: Resurgence
  3. Central Intelligence
  4. The Shallows
  5. The Conjuring 2

Next Week: The Secret Life of Pets, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and more!

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

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