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 The Other Woman'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 2 - 4, 2014.
This weekend, superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in over 4,000 theaters. In limited release, Belle debuts in 4 theaters while Walk of Shame sees a release of 50 locations.
#1 - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The easy pick for the top spot this week is The Amazing Spider-Man 2. While it was the lowest-grossing film in the series, 2012’s reboot of Sony’s cash cow still made over $262 million and finished as one of the top 10 highest earners of that year. The brand may not be as lucrative or in demand as it was during the Tobey Maguire years in the 2000s, the character still has a large following (and is recognizable to casual audiences) that will support the latest cinematic outing. Plus, Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets the benefit of opening during the first weekend in May – a timeframe several Marvel-based films have had major success in.
Sony has used an ultra-aggressive marketing campaign in the weeks leading up to release in an effort to drum up interest, highlighting villains Electro and the Green Goblin. The studio has given this franchise a big vote of confidence; setting aside dates for two direct sequels, but also spin-offs for Sinister Six and Venom. In the age of shared-universe world building, Sony is banking on those big announcements enticing moviegoers to the theater to see how everything fits into place. Early reviews have been mixed, but the promise of big things and superhero action will be more than enough to land this sequel in the number one spot.
#2 - The Other Woman
Look for last week’s champ, The Other Woman (read our review), to fall to second this weekend. The female ensemble surpassed expectations by dethroning the Marvel Machine in its first three days, but it obviously won’t have enough staying power to pull that off two weeks in a row. That said, it will now become a counter-programming option for audiences not interested in blockbuster spectacles.
#3 - Heaven is for Real
Our pick for third is religious drama Heaven is for Real. The film has grossed $53.4 million at the time of this writing, including $14.3 million last weekend. That wasn’t too far behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($16.2 million). With Peter Parker going after the same demographic as Steve Rogers (plus being the new film on the block), there’s a strong chance The Winter Soldier sees a serious hit in numbers and falls further down the charts this week, allowing Heaven is for Real to overtake it.
#4 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
He’s advertised on our header as being the challenger, but Cap won’t be putting up much of a fight this week. After a solid month on top, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (read our review) is starting to slow down. As a new comic book adaptation arrives, the demand for the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be greatly diminished. The franchise is popular enough that it won’t fall completely out of the top five, but business will certainly slip.
#5 - Rio 2
Rounding out the top five should be Rio 2 (read our review). The animated sequel hasn’t been as commercially successful as its predecessor, but it’s still the only option for families, so it will continue to bring in a crowd for at least one more week.
#10 - Bears
Our tiebreaker for this week is Bears. The nature documentary finished in eighth place last week.
Despite seeming like ideal Spider-Man counter-programming with its rom-com setup and charming lead, the Elizabeth Banks starring vehicle Walk of Shame isn’t playing in enough theaters to be a legitimate contender. In only 50 locations, it’s not on nearly enough screens to crack the top five, and working as a tiebreaker is probably out of the question. If it does expand, it could emerge as an option for couples on date night, but until then it won’t leave much of a dent.
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):
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - 4,000+ theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- Belle - 4 theaters
- Walk of Shame - 50 theaters
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 (Transcendence's opening): Sal reports that Bman was the winner with a score of 9 points.
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 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (1)
- #2 - The Other Woman (1)
- #3 - Rio 2 (1)
- #4 - Heaven is for Real (1)
- #5 - Brick Mansions (3)
- #10 - Divergent
- Final Score: 7 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)