We're starting a new weekly feature here at Screen Rant, the SR Box Office Prediction. Every week we'll put together an informal list of box office predictions for the upcoming weekend - in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle. The purpose will be two-fold:
- To offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters during the upcoming weekend; though, keep in mind, box office predictions are not an exact science and we fully accept that we'll be wrong from time to time. Instead, we want this post to be a fun jumping off point for our readers to discuss their own predictions in the comments - which brings us to goal number two!
- In keeping with the rules set in the Screen Rant Underground podcast, we'll be holding an on-going reader Box Office Battle - where participants can win goodies from the Screen Rant team. Prizes will be awarded throughout the year in a variety of categories - offering an added incentive for our readers to get in on the action and predict with us!
Of course, anyone who just wants to come and read our thoughts on the upcoming weekend are also welcome. So, without further ado, welcome to the weekly Screen Rant Box Office Prediction post.
For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from The Wolverine's opening weekend.
Full disclosure: As mentioned, Box Office predictions are not an exact science but, for the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of August 2nd - 4th, 2013.
This weekend, the buddy cop action flick 2 Guns opens in over 2,800 theaters, the animated/live action hybrid sequel The Smurfs 2 opens in over 3,400 theaters while Europa Report and The Spectacular Now debut in limited release.
1) 2 Guns
Look for 2 Guns to finish this weekend on top. The presence of Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington gives this film some added star power and potential box office clout. Both actors have flexed their movie star muscles as recently as last year. Washington helped boost Robert Zemeckis's drama Flight to a $93.7 million domestic total (it opened to an impressive $24.9 million). Wahlberg, of course, teamed up with a talking teddy bear as Ted became the breakout comedy hit of last summer, making $218.8 million domestically (including $54.5 on its opening weekend). It's obvious that these two likable leading men have what it takes to draw casual audiences in.
2 Guns also provides audiences with something of a breath of fresh air as it is one of the few summer action movies that will not rely heavily on CGI spectacles, superheroes, or robots. The trailers and TV spots have illustrated the comedic chemistry between Denzel and Marky Mark, indicating that the strength of this movie will be the performances.
2) The Smurfs 2
Our pick for second place is The Smurfs 2 (read our review). Despite being panned by critics, the first film in this budding franchise was successful at the box office, taking in a jaw-dropping $563.7 million worldwide ($142.6 million of that was domestically). Opening with $35.6 million in its opening weekend, the first Smurfs benefited greatly from having no direct competition. The sequel isn't so lucky as the unstoppable force known as Despicable Me 2 has proven to have strong legs, taking in $306.8 million domestically so far (including $16.4 million last weekend). Due to good word of mouth and the popularity of the ever-lovable minions (even Pixar's Mike and Sulley proved no match for them), Despicable Me 2 may be the animated sequel families opt for as opposed to The Smurfs 2.
3) The Wolverine
We're predicting The Wolverine (read our review) to fall into third place in its second weekend. Fox had high hopes for the new Logan solo outing, but moviegoers were not as enthusiastic. The Wolverine grossed "only" $53.1 million during its first three days, which is the lowest opening in the history of the X-Men franchise. This is mildly concerning due to the 3-D ticket prices and general inflation that has occurred over the past 13 years. Tent pole films like this tend to be front-loaded and do a large chunk of their business during their opening weekend. For comparison's sake, last month's Man of Steel opened to a record-breaking $116.6 million in the U.S. but has since then seen its total increase to just above $280 million.
4) The Conjuring
The Conjuring (read our review) should finish in fourth place this weekend. James Wan's horror film has done very well at the box office so far, grossing $83.9 million domestically (as of this writing). Thanks to strong reviews, The Conjuring has become one of the lone bright spots in a summer season marred by big-budget bombs and should continue to perform strongly.
5) Despicable Me 2
Rounding out the top five will be Despicable Me 2 (read our review). As noted above, Gru's second outing has posted impressive numbers during its run. While The Smurfs 2 may take some business away, the minions shouldn't see too much of a hit.
10) Pacific Rim
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):
- 2 Guns – 2,800+ theaters
- The Smurfs 2 – 3,400+ theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- The Spectacular Now - 4 theaters
- Europa Report - 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 whose tie-breaker selection is closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.
Here's an example from last week to see how it works:
1. The Wolverine
2. The Conjuring
3. Despicable Me 2
5. Red 2
10. World War Z
Based on last week's box office numbers, that entry would be worth 13 points since numbers 1-4 were direct matches. Red 2 finished in sixth place, so that would be only one point. This number ten tiebreaker, World War Z, finished in thirteenth place, so if a fellow reader also scored 13 points and picked a different tiebreaker (say, The Way, Way Back, which came in at number eleven last week), they would be the official winner.
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!
Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule)