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 Secret Life of Pets‘ 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 15 – 17.

This weekend, Ghostbusters opens in 3,963 locations and The Infiltrator plays in 1,600 theaters.

#1 – The Secret Life of Pets

Look for last week’s champion, The Secret Life of Pets (read our review), to come in the top spot again during its second weekend. The latest from Illumination Entertainment posted a strong $104.3 million in its debut, setting a new record for best opening by an original property. Even though Finding Dory dominated the family demographic for a few weeks, the demand for more animated fare over the summer was still high. Pets has had healthy grosses during the week, illustrating that the positive word-of-mouth has ensured it will have strong legs as it continues its run.

Pets is facing a high-profile competitor in the Ghostbusters reboot, and there are conflicting reports over how things will turn out. Some projections indicate Pets will come out on top with around $55 million, while Ghostbusters could make anywhere between $38 – 50 million. Others say Ghostbusters will make about $56 million in its first three days, enough to unseat The Secret Life of Pets from the top spot. With the estimates for Ghostbusters being all over the place, it’s hard to put too much faith in it. Pets has tapped into a lucrative market and has an overall enthusiastic response. In the summer, it’s never wise to bet against a children’s movie.

secret life pets movie snowball kevin hart Box Office Prediction: Secret Life of Pets vs. Ghostbusters


#2 – Ghostbusters

Our pick for second is Ghostbusters, the controversial reboot of the classic 1980s property. The project’s existence has been contentious ever since it was announced for several reasons, which has kept it in the headlines for months. Awareness clearly isn’t an issue, since everything from its status as a remake to the all-female cast has been a hot talking point. Sony believes that all the hatred is the best thing that could have happened, and many moviegoers will be curious to see what all the fuss is about. As stated earlier, tracking as it pegged for $56 million in a best case scenario, which could be possible due to the mostly positive reviews that have popped up online.

It’s worth mentioning that director Paul Feig has a great track record commercially. His previous three films (which all starred new Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy) made in excess of $100 million, indicating that his style of comedy has a wide appeal. Not to mention, Ghostbusters features a killer ensemble with some famous woman comedians (Kristin Wiig, McCarthy, etc.) and even an Avenger (Chris Hemsworth). The film should do fine commercial, it’s just a matter of how much it makes. Pets opened very high and would have to take a steep drop to be knocked off its perch. There’s uncertainty surrounding Ghostbusters‘ ability to force that, so we’re going to give the edge to Pets.

#3 – The Legend of Tarzan

Coming in third should be The Legend of Tarzan (read our review), which has arguably been one of the bigger surprises of the season. Despite lukewarm to negative reviews, the film has been performing fairly well during its domestic run, earning $89.8 million domestically so far. While it won’t be able to contend with Pets and Ghostbusters, it should continue to post healthy numbers and stick around the top five for at least another week.

legend tarzan reviews christoph waltz Box Office Prediction: Secret Life of Pets vs. Ghostbusters


#4 – Finding Dory

Coming in fourth should be Finding Dory (read our review). Pixar’s newest blockbuster has been one of the few bright spots this summer, recently overtaking Captain America: Civil War as the number one film of 2016 domestically. Business is starting to slow down now that the marketplace is getting more crowded, but there should still be much interest in spending time with Dory, Marlin, and Nemo.

#5 – Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Rounding out the top five should be Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (read our review). The comedy opened in fourth last week with $16.6 million, suggesting that demand was fairly low. Even though the film sported an A-list cast and a potentially hysterical premise, it couldn’t really compete with the other high-profile films currently playing. Now that Ghostbusters is here to steal comedy fans, Mike & Dave is going to slide down the charts.

Last Week’s Recap

Our picks:

  1. The Secret Life of Pets
  2. Finding Dory
  3. The Legend of Tarzan
  4. Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates
  5. The BFG

Actuals:

  1. The Secret Life of Pets
  2. The Legend of Tarzan
  3. Finding Dory
  4. Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates
  5. The Purge: Election Year

Next Week: Ice Age: Collision Course, Star Trek Beyond, Lights Out, and more!

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