Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend – in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle – 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 Godzilla’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 that 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 May 23 – 25, 2014.

This weekend, superhero sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past debuts at 3,900 theaters and romantic comedy Blended opens in 3,500 theaters. In limited release, Chef expands to 498 locations, while Cold in July plays in six theaters and Words and Pictures gets an unspecified release.

#1 – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Coming in first this week should be the latest installment in the X-Men franchise, Days of Future Past. With Fox looking to use the film as a launching pad for bigger things (i.e. Apocalypse), expectations are undoubtedly high for the sequel and early indications are that the studio could be very pleased with the end result. Early tracking is pointing at a $125 million opening weekend, which would be the highest in the series by a mile.

It doesn’t hurt that Days of Future Past is also getting strong reviews leading up to its debut. With director Bryan Singer returning to the helm (he called the shots on the well-received first two installments), it appears as if Fox’s tentpole is generating positive word-of-mouth once again. Trailers and TV spots have also played up the star-studded ensemble cast, which includes fan favorites like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and of course Hugh Jackman, giving the uninitiated some incentive to check this out. Despite some questionable burger commercials, it looks like the new X-Men film is in great shape for a lucrative run.

#2 – Godzilla

Look for last week’s champ, Godzilla (read our review), to fall to second this weekend. Gareth Edwards’ reboot of the famed movie monster had a phenomenal first three days, scoring the second-highest domestic opening of 2014. Still, it won’t be enough to beat out Days of Future Past. Blockbusters such as this typically see a major decrease after opening weekend; even more so when another highly anticipated film hits theaters the following week. The $93.1 million intake will make the aforementioned fall softer than most – and the positive reviews will give it some legs – but there aren’t many movies that can contend with a high profile comic book adaptation.

#3 – Blended

Adam Sandler’s new vehicle Blended is our pick for third. Even though his films score some awful reviews, the comedic actor can still draw in a sizable audience. His last film, 2013’s Grown Ups 2, opened to $41.5 million en route to a $133.6 million domestic total. Granted, not all of his movies have been hits (2012’s That’s My Boy only made $36.9 total), but that seems to be more of an exception than the rule. Blended won’t win any new converts, but Sandler’s fan base should turn out for his latest reunion with Drew Barrymore.

Given the competition of a massive superhero film and Godzilla, we don’t expect this to open that high, but as a fresh comedy, it will no doubt emerge as a counter-programming option for moviegoers looking for an alternative to summer action movies. Early estimates have it opening at around $24 million.

#4 – Neighbors

Coming in fourth should be Neighbors (read our review). The R-rated “frat vs. family” comedy has done very well for itself, raking in $90.5 million in two weeks. It came in second last weekend with more than $25 million, but now we expect it to fall down the charts. Days of Future Past will take up a sizable chunk of this weekend’s audience and Blended is going after comedy fans. That said, Neighbors has been holding strong enough for it to remain in the top five for at least one more week.

#5 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Rounding out the top five should be The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (read our review). The lukewarm reception hasn’t done Marc Webb’s sequel any favors, as Sony’s Marvel adaptation continues to slide week by week. Making $16.8 million last weekend, that number was only good enough for third place, indicating that despite the popularity of the Spider-Man character, moviegoers might be tiring of his cinematic exploits. The arrival of the hotly anticipated Days of Future Past will reel in the same demographic target as Amazing Spider-Man 2, causing business to go down yet again.

#10 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Our tiebreaker this week is Captain America: The Winter Soldier (read our review), which finished in eighth place last week.

That’s it for this week’s breakdown.

Now, if you want to participate in the weekly Box Office Battle, it’s time for you to make your picks! In the comments section below, post what you think will be the top five movies this weekend at the box office as well as your own number ten tiebreaker. Then, tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the results and find out who won.

Opening in theaters this week (Wide):

  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – 3,900+ theaters
  • Blended – 3,500 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Cold in July – 6 theaters
  • Words and Pictures – unspecified
  • Chef – 498 theaters (expanding)

Box Office Battle Scoring Rules: You get three (3) points for each direct match with the weekend actuals and one (1) point for each movie placed within one spot of the exact position. A perfect score is 15 points. Tie-breakers are not worth any points but, in the event of a tie, the person with a tie-breaker selection closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.

Last Week’s Official Box Office Battle Reader Winner (Godzillas opening): Sal reports that Chris B. and Peter Gecko emerged victorious from a seven-way tie with perfect 15s and correct tiebreakers.

For the record, here are our picks from last week – along with the corresponding amount of points we received for each pick (listed in parenthesis).

  • #1 – Godzilla (3)
  • #2 – Neighbors (3)
  • #3 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3)
  • #4 – Million Dollar Arm (3)
  • #5 – The Other Woman (3)
  • #10 – Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
  • Final Score: 15 points

Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results and tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the weekly winners!

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule)