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 Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched 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 14 – 16, 2017.

This weekend, War for the Planet of the Apes opens in 4,022 theaters, Wish Upon debuts in 2,250 locations, and The Big Sick expands to 2,597 theaters.

#1 – War for the Planet of the Apes

Our pick for the top spot this weekend is War for the Planet of the Apes (read our review), the third installment in the rebooted Apes trilogy that began in 2011. The series, which few expected much of when it was first announced, has turned into a reliable tentpole for Fox with two successful entries so far. Six years ago, Rise of the Planet of the Apes became the sleeper hit of the summer by bringing in $176.7 million domestically, and sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made even more with $208.5 million. Both were bolstered by strong reviews and enthusiastic audience reception, making War one of the most anticipated offerings of the year. And after Hollywood endured a rough stretch at the box office, it looks like Caesar and company will continue the good fortunes.

War is already off to a good start, bringing in $5 million from Thursday night preview screenings. That figure is actually higher than what Dawn posted in its debut a few years ago, though it’s expected War won’t be able to match its predecessor’s opening weekend of $72.6 million. Projections are varied right now, with some outlets estimating $54 million in the first three days, while others say between $60-65 million. War has been hailed as one of the best third installments in a trilogy to date, with many praising the emotionally-riveting story and powerful performances. Because of those factors, it should be in good shape for a fruitful weekend. That said, competition from Spider-Man – which is beloved for different reasons – may prevent it from setting a new high for the franchise. Regardless, it will be another winner for Fox.

War for the Planet of the Apes Caesar and Rocket on horses Box Office Prediction: Planet of the Apes vs. Spider Man

#2 – Spider-Man: Homecoming

Look for last week’s champ, Spider-Man: Homecoming (read our review), to slide to second in its second weekend. The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave the summer box office a much-needed shot in the arm when it opened, making an impressive $117 million. It’s an undisputed hit, but there are some lingering questions about the strength of its legs. Homecoming is going up against Planet of the Apes, which, as we’ve just illustrated, is another critically-acclaimed genre picture. There should be some overlap in the target audiences, as both sport a PG-13 rating and are part of franchises with large followings. That said, it’s likely there’s enough money to go around for the two of them.

Even with the similarities between Homecoming and War, there are noticeable differences. Apes is a far more brooding and bleak offering that seems geared for an older crowd than Spider-Man. Your Friendly Neighborhood, one of the most famous superheroes in the world, boasts a cross-generational appeal and is decidedly more family friendly than Caesar doing battle against the humans. It’s likely Homecoming takes a bit of a hit following a massive debut, but it should still be fine overall.

#3 – Despicable Me 3

Coming in third should be Despicable Me 3 (read our review), which came in second last weekend with $33.5 million. Though this installment has not been able to score the numbers its predecessors have, it’s still one of the few offerings going after the juice box crowd, making it an appealing choice for parents with youngsters. Odds are, it will continue to stick around since it doesn’t have any direct rivals waiting to steal business.

Despicable Me 3 Box Office Prediction: Planet of the Apes vs. Spider Man

#4 – The Big Sick

We believe a nationwide expansion will be enough to catapult The Big Sick (read our review) into the fourth position. The rom-com has become one of the critical darlings of the summer, earning rave reviews for its heartwarming story. It’s played in limited release for the past couple of weeks, making an impressive $8 million in its run so far. Now that The Big Sick is playing in more theaters, people who are eager to see what all the buzz is about will make the trip to see it. The film obviously isn’t going to challenge the big blockbusters like Apes and Spider-Man, but it doesn’t have to. The Big Sick looks to be a nice counter-programming option for moviegoers.

#5 – Baby Driver

Rounding out the top five should be Baby Driver (read our review), which continues to ride its waves of positive buzz and is already director Edgar Wright’s most commercially-successful film of his career. The heist film has been able to stand out amongst the crowd thanks to the responses, and it should hang around the top of the charts for at least another weekend or two.

Last Week’s Recap

Our Picks:

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Baby Driver
  • Wonder Woman
  • Transformers: The Last Knight

Actuals:

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Baby Driver
  • Wonder Woman
  • Transformers: The Last Knight

Next Week: Valerian, Dunkirk, and more!

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

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