Box Office Prediction: 'Best Man Holiday' vs. 'Thor: The Dark World'

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 Thor: The Dark World'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 November 15th - November 17th, 2013.

This weekend, comedy sequel The Best Man Holiday opens in 2,000 theaters. 12-12-12 sees a limited release of 2 theaters, Charlie Countryman gets an unspecified limited release, The Christmas Candle debuts in 5 theaters, and Alexander Payne's Nebraska gets a release of 4 theaters.


#1 - Thor: The Dark World

Our pick for first place is last week’s champ, Thor: The Dark World (read our review). The Marvel Studios sequel grossed an impressive $85.7 million during its first three days and has stayed atop the charts by making $10.4 million on Monday, indicating that it’s holding well. While its profits will dip a bit in its second weekend (as all tentpoles do), none of the competition is big enough to knock it from the top spot. Next week’s arrival of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may bring different results, but for now, Thor will rule the domestic box office.

#2 - The Best Man Holiday

Look for this week’s lone wide release, The Best Man Holiday, to come in second. What gives this delayed sequel (1999’s The Best Man grossed $34.1 million) an edge is the fact that it exists as appealing counterprogramming for adult moviegoers. While the cast lacks a big movie star who can draw people in, the film has had a strong marketing presence (leading to solid tracking numbers) and its Christmas setting makes it a timely and enticing choice.

#3 - Free Birds

Coming in third should be the animated family film, Free Birds (read our review). Despite a slow opening – when it finished fourth – the comedy held strong for its second weekend, making $11.1 million (good enough for third place). As the only kid-friendly movie currently playing, it should continue to perform well, especially with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner.

#4 - Last Vegas

Our pick for fourth place is the comedy Last Vegas (read our review). By making just over $11 million during its second weekend, the film has proven that it will hold strong and with word-of-mouth positive, it should continue to have a healthy run. Not surprisingly, it has performed very well with the older crowd and as one of the few options targeting that demographic, it will stay in the top five.

#5 - Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Rounding out the top five should be Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (read our review). The comedy emerged as the victor in a three-way virtual tie for second place last week (making $11.3 million), but its Monday numbers saw it fall behind the other two films in that tight race – Free Birds and Last Vegas. Fans of the franchise will continue to support this latest installment, but casual audiences may have moved on.

'Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa' - penguin

#10 - Captain Phillips

Our number ten tiebreaker for this week is Captain Phillips (read our review). Paul Greengrass’ real-life drama finished last week in eighth place.


Director Alexander Payne has had box office success throughout his career (his last film, The Descendants, made $82.5 million in 2011), but once again, it’s important for our readers to keep in mind that his latest offering, Nebraska, is only playing in 4 theaters and cannot crack the top five (or even number ten). Should Paramount opt to give the awards contender a nationwide expansion, it could emerge as an option for adult moviegoers. Until then, the dramedy won’t do any noteworthy damage at the domestic box office.

That's it for this week's breakdown.


Screen Rant Underground Podcast

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 Best Man Holiday - 2,000 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • 12-12-12 - 2 theaters
  • Charlie Countryman - unspecified
  • The Christmas Candle - 5 theaters
  • Nebraska - 4 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 (Ender's Game opening): Sal reports that Adel won 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 - Thor: The Dark World (3)
  • #2 - Ender's Game (0)
  • #3 - 12 Years a Slave (0)
  • #4 - Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (0)
  • #5 - Last Vegas (1)
  • #10 - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • Final Score: 4 points and a perfect tiebreaker


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)

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