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Box Office Prediction: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' vs. 'Hot Pursuit'

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 Avengers: Age of Ultron'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 May 8 - 10, 2015.

This weekend, comedy Hot Pursuit opens in more than 2,700 theaters and The D Train plays in over 700 locations. In limited release, we have Maggie and Saint Laurent playing in an unspecified number of locations, while 5 Flight Up opens in 50 theaters.

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#1 - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Look for last week's champ, Avengers: Age of Ultron (read our review) to come in the top spot again during its second weekend. In its first three days, the superhero sequel grossed a highly-impressive $191.2 million, which was good enough for the second-highest opening weekend of all-time. Even though the critical reaction has not been as strong for Earth's Mightiest this time around, the audience interest is obviously still there in spades. Typically, a big tentpole such as this sees a significant decrease in business following its debut, but Avengers is a special case in that it opened so high that it would take an astronomical fall (read: not gonna happen) in order for it to be dethroned.

#2 - Hot Pursuit

Coming in a very distant second should be the new comedy Hot Pursuit, which stars Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. Though both leading ladies are respected A-listers in their craft, neither one of them can be considered a guaranteed box office draw. Witherspoon's last real live-action hit came in 2008 (Four Christmases; $120.1 million) and Vergara, though a favorite on TV's Modern Family has never really been in a smash film. Obviously, the hope here is for the actresses to reverse those fortunes, and there's enough evidence to suggest this could be a minor success.

Early tracking currently has Hot Pursuit projected at an $18 million opening weekend, which isn't really anything to write home about, but it is a solid total for a smaller film that hasn't had the most visible marketing campaign leading up to its release. One factor that plays into its benefit is that women-led comedies (like The Heat) have been a hit with audiences in recent years, and this movie will certainly play to that demographic. Obviously, Paul Feig isn't involved - so that hurts a bit - but Hot Pursuit should be fine on its own to post respectable numbers.

#3 - Furious 7

Our pick for third is Furious 7 (read our review), which came in second last week with $6.6 million. The presence of Avengers definitely took away a lot of business from Dom Toretto and his family, but based on its record-shattering April, everything it earns from here is gravy for Universal. It's true it's starting to dwindle down the charts, but Furious 7 is still a reliable moneymaker.

#4 - The Age of Adaline

Our pick for fourth is once again The Age of Adaline (read our review), which grossed $6.2 million to come in third last week. The film has never really struck a chord with audiences, and even as a counter-programming option it hasn't had much success. Yes, there is a target segment for it (as the $23.3 million total gross would indicate), but the mainstream clearly isn't interested. There's no reason to believe that will change at this point.

#5 - Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Rounding out the top five should be Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (read our review), which finished in fourth last week with $5.8 million. The comedy sequel has seen its profits go down each week since its release - and with the arrival of Hot Pursuit, comedy fans will have a newer option that honestly just looks like a better film. The 2009 original may have been a hit, but the second adventure for Blart hasn't been nearly as successful. Its time in the top five is coming to an end.

Last Week's Recap

We correctly predicted the movies that would make up the top five, we were just off in a few places. We got Avengers (1) and Home (5) exact, but in the middle was where we had problems. Furious 7, Age of Adaline, and Paul Blart 2 were 2, 3, and 4 respectively, when we thought those movies would finish third, fourth, and second respectively.

Next Week: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road and more!

Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule) and Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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