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 22 Jump Street'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 June 20 - 22, 2014.
This weekend, romantic-comedy sequel Think Like a Man Too opens in over 2,000 theaters and the musical Jersey Boys debuts in over 3,000 locations. On the limited front, The Rover gets an unspecified nationwide expansion while Third Person and Venus Fur both have unspecified limited releases,
#1 - Think Like a Man Too
Our choice for the top spot is the new romantic comedy Think Like a Man Too. In 2012, the original film became a surprise success, opening with $33.6 million en route to a $91.6 million domestic total. This sequel is expected to open in a similar range, with early tracking indicating a $32 million weekend.
At the front of the ensemble cast is comedian Kevin Hart, who is quickly becoming a solid movie star. Besides the first Think Like a Man film, he starred in this year’s Ride Along, which was one of the first big hits of the year at $134.2 million. On the flip side, Hart also appeared in February’s About Last Night (with Think Like a Man co-star Michael Ealy), which only grossed $48.6 million for its entire run (albeit on a $12 million budget). These results indicate that Hart has box office potential, but the brand and wider cast recognition of Think Like a Man should lead to higher numbers, while the “guys vs. girls” setup of the film will make it an appealing option for date night.
#2 - 22 Jump Street
Look for last week’s champ, 22 Jump Street (read our review), to come in second this weekend. Phil Lord and Chris Miller delivered yet another hit, as the comedy sequel brought in an impressive $57 million during its first three days. While the positive word of mouth will give it strong legs for a healthy theatrical run, it will still fall a bit after such a massive opening. Its opening total is similar to Ted, which made $54.5 million in its opening weekend. Ted then fell 40.8 percent in its second weekend. If 22 Jump Street sees the same type of decrease, the weekend numbers will be very close to the projected opening for Think Like a Man Too, giving us reason to believe the new film will come out on top.
#3 - How to Train Your Dragon 2
Coming in third should be How to Train Your Dragon 2 (read our review). Despite a severe lack of competition on the animation front, the DreamWorks sequel could not take full advantage and only made $49.4 million during its opening weekend. That is bigger than the original, but not by much, illustrating that the demand for this may not be as high as initially thought. Because there are no new family films on the horizon (remember – no Pixar movies this year), it will still do solid business for the rest of the season and should have a long run. However, it won’t dominate the charts like other titles have in recent years. For what it’s worth, the first How to Train Your Dragon film finished in third place during its second weekend.
#4 - Maleficent
Our pick for fourth place is Maleficent (read our review). There isn’t much more to say about Disney’s Sleeping Beauty retelling that hasn’t been said already. The film is one of Angelina Jolie’s biggest hits and it has showcased strong legs over the past three weeks with a $163 million domestic total. Given that it made $18.5 million last weekend, it should still play well for audiences for at least another week.
#5 - Jersey Boys
Rounding out the top five should be the musical adaptation, Jersey Boys. Director Clint Eastwood has a number of box office hits on his résumé, a fact the TV spots have been hammering home in recent weeks (using Oscar winners such as Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby as selling points). He is an icon, but Eastwood’s box office track record has been shaky as of late. His last outright hit was Gran Torino back in 2008 (over $148 million), but since then, his highest-grossing directorial effort has been Invictus, which made just $37.4 million in 2009. It looks like Eastwood’s cold streak will continue this week, as Jersey Boys is projected to bring in only $12 million for opening weekend.
Being a film adaptation of a popular Tony-winning stage play could help, but not by much. In 2012, Rock of Ages – another musical adaptation – opened during a similar time frame and grossed $14.4 million during its first three days. Jersey Boys could certainly be a go-to option for older moviegoers looking for an alternative to the usual summer fare, but it lacks the mainstream interest necessary to compete with the bigger films.
#10 - A Million Ways to Die in the West
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):
- Think Like a Man Too - 2,000+ theaters
- Jersey Boys - 3,000+ theaters
- The Rover - unspecified nationwide expansion
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- Third Person - unspecified
- Venus in Fur - unspecified
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 (22 Jump Street's opening): Sal reports that PeterGecko is the winner with a score of 11.
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 - How to Train Your Dragon 2 (1)
- #2 - 22 Jump Street (1)
- #3 - The Fault in Our Stars (0)
- #4 - Maleficent (1)
- #5 - Edge of Tomorrow (1)
- #10 - Neighbors
- Final Score: 4 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)