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 during the upcoming weekend.
For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from 2 Guns’ 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 August 9th - 11th, 2013.
This weekend, the futuristic sci-fi thriller Elysium opens in over 2,700 theaters, the R-rated drug dealer comedy We’re the Millers debuts in more than 3,150 theaters, the fantasy sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is released in 2,800 theaters, and Disney’s latest animated movie Planes flies into 3,400 theaters. In a World and Lovelace open in limited release.
#1 - Elysium
Neill Blomkamp’s sophomore feature Elysium should finish the weekend on top of the box office. His first film, 2009’s District 9 was one of the biggest surprises of that summer, grossing $37.4 million in the first weekend en route to a $115.6 million domestic total. In the four years since its release, District 9 has remained a favorite among movie fans and audiences are eager to see what the director can do with a much bigger budget.
Also helping Elysium’s box office prospects is the presence of actor Matt Damon, who has been one of the biggest movie stars in recent memory thanks to turns in hit films like The Departed and the Bourne trilogy. Even though Elysium already had a built-in audience thanks to the success of District 9, Damon’s involvement could help bring in casual audiences curious to see the actor lead a major sci-fi film.
#2 - We're the Millers
We’re predicting that the latest R-rated comedy We’re the Millers will be in second place this weekend. The film provides audiences with the first adult comedy since June’s hit The Heat, so fans of the genre get their chance to see something fresh.
The film actually opens on Wednesday, which may slightly lower its weekend numbers. However, sporting a humorous premise (a drug dealer enlists a fake “family” in order to get marijuana across the border), We’re the Millers also has the recognizable Jennifer Aniston and former Saturday Night Live funnyman Jason Sudeikis leading the cast - which could help the movie stand out. Unfortunately, neither Aniston nor Sudeikis can be considered a reliable box office draw, so it remains to be seen how much they’ll boost the project.
#3 - Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is likely to come in third. The first film in this series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, grossed a mediocre $88 million domestically (and finishing third opening weekend). This franchise may have its supporters, but it’s clear that the fan base is not as wide as similar films like Harry Potter. Opening in such a crowded marketplace could also hurt this sequel’s chances at making a major impact.
An important thing for our readers to keep in mind: Like We're the Millers, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is opening on Wednesday, August 7, and die-hard fans may turn out before the weekend begins - subsequently lowering the weekend box office turnout.
#4 - 2 Guns
We’re predicting last week’s champion 2 Guns to fall to fourth place in its second weekend. The film performed very well in its first three days, grossing $27 million. While the presence of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg helped carry the action-comedy to success, reviews were not the strongest (read our review for an example) and Elysium (a more anticipated film among moviegoers) opening could take away business. It is unlikely 2 Guns will have strong legs.
#5 - The Wolverine
In fifth place, we’re picking The Wolverine (read our review). Fox’s latest superhero adaptation did not do as well as Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel, but is still a minor hit (making $94.6 million domestically as of this writing), and thanks to a strong worldwide gross, is a profitable endeavor for the studio. As in the case of 2 Guns, Elysium will more than likely draw in audiences looking for an action picture this weekend.
#10 - Grown Ups 2
Our number ten tiebreaker pick is Grown Ups 2. The film finished in sixth last weekend and as of this writing has made $116.1 million.
Despite having the widest release among this weekend’s new movies, we believe Planes will fall just out of the top five in its first three days - and come in at number six. Typically, animated family films are box office gold, but the non-Pixar Cars spinoff will face a lot of competition in The Smurfs 2 and the juggernaut Despicable Me 2.
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):
- Elysium - 2,700+ theaters
- We're the Millers - 3,150+ theaters (on Wednesday)
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - 2,800 theaters (on Wednesday)
- Planes - 3,400 theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- In A World - unspecified
- Lovelace - 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 (2 Guns opening): Sal reports that two people achieved perfect scores of 15 (Carlos and Chris Etrata). However, the winner was Carlos - he nailed the holy grail of a perfect 15 and a perfect tiebreaker.
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 - 2 Guns (3)
- #2 - The Smurfs (1)
- #3 - The Wolverine (1)
- #4 - The Conjuring (3)
- #5 - Despicable Me 2 (3)
- #10 - Pacific Rim
- Final Score: 11 points and a perfect tie-breaker.
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)