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 Transporter Refueled'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 September 11 - 13, 2015.
This weekend, The Visit plays in 3,068 theaters, Perfect Guy opens in more than 2,000 theaters, and 90 Minutes in Heaven hits an unspecified number of theaters nationwide. In limited release, Wolf Totem plays in 100 locations, Sleeping With Other People debuts on 5 screens, and Time Out of Mind opens in 2 theaters.
#1 - The Visit
Our pick for first is the new horror film The Visit. It is director M. Night Shyamalan's first movie since the dud After Earth ($60.5 million) in 2013. Though the filmmaker's career seemingly hit an all-time low with that sci-fi disaster, there are plenty of signs that suggest this could be his return to form. Shyamalan is employing a "back to basics" approach by going back to his horror roots; early word during San Diego Comic-Con 2015 was that this is a film worth seeing (an opinion held by some of the Screen Rant staff), so The Visit shouldn't be a disaster like some of Shyamalan's past films.
At the same time, those hoping the film is a blockbuster sensation in the vein of The Sixth Sense are bound to be disappointed. Official critical reviews are decidedly mixed, which shouldn't doom its prospects this week, but won't do them too many favors either. Tracking (which, we know from experience is not always accurate) is projecting a $17.2 million opening weekend, which actually would be the lowest nationwide debut for a Shyamalan film. It's clear that The Visit won't be a crossover hit, but as Hollywood is reeling from the worst Labor Day box office in 15 years, they'll take it.
#2 - The Perfect Guy
Coming in second should be The Perfect Guy, a smaller erotic thriller that's poised to take advantage of a weak crop of competition. You can make the argument that awareness for the film might be an issue since its marketing campaign has been minimal, but distributor Screen Gems is releasing the project at the perfect time. Because there are so few high-profile options out there, Perfect Guy should be able to post decent, if not outstanding numbers. Analysts are currently predicting a debut in the $16.2 million range. Just like The Visit, it doesn't look like this film will be a massive success, but it'll be able to pull in a sizable audience looking for something new.
#3 - War Room
Our choice for third is War Room, which continued its surprising box office performance last week by winning the weekend with $9.4 million. The religious drama has not been able to emerge from its niche (the domestic total is just $29.8 million), but its still finding a way to reach moviegoers and earn healthy figures. It may not be able to contend with the new releases this week, but at this point, it isn't wise to underestimate it.
#4 - Straight Outta Compton
Coming in fourth should be Straight Outta Compton (read our review), which saw its reign at the top of the charts end last week. Still, the N.W.A. biopic finished in second with $8.6 million, so it's not like moviegoers have completely bailed on it. Business is slowing down, but the film should be able to hang around the top five for at least one more week.
#5 - A Walk in the Woods
Rounding out the top five should be A Walk in the Woods. The indie came in third last week, surpassing expectations with $8.2 million. Like many of the other films currently playing, it's not posting astonishing numbers throughout its run, but in a pretty barren marketplace, this road trip flick starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte certainly has its appeal.
Last Week's Recap
The box office is stuck in a rut, and so are our picks. We did not get a single spot correct last week, though we were just one off on Straight Outta Compton and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation's placings.
Next Week: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Black Mass, and more!