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 Elysium’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 August 16th - 18th, 2013.
This weekend, the comic book adaptation Kick-Ass 2 opens in 2,800 theaters, the historical drama Lee Daniels' The Butler opens in 2,500 theaters, the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs opens in 2,000 theaters, and the thriller Paranoia opens in 2,400 theaters. Ain't Them Bodies Saints opens in a very limited release of 3 theaters.
#1 - Kick-Ass 2
Our pick for first place is Kick-Ass 2. The first film in this series opened with a $19.8 million opening weekend (good enough for the top spot) back in 2010. While the original Kick-Ass failed to make a big impact at the domestic box office – taking in only just over $48 million during its theatrical run – the comic book adaptation saw its audience expand via the home media market and due to that, the sequel is expected to perform better at the box office. Because of its R rating, this superhero film probably won't be as accessible as the ones released earlier this summer, but it should still do decent business.
#2 - We're the Millers
Coming in second should be the drug dealing comedy We’re the Millers (read our review). The Jennifer Aniston/Jason Sudeikis vehicle was a surprise hit last weekend, taking in $26.4 million for the three day weekend ($37.9 million for the five day total). Whether it was the humorous premise or the many TV spots that highlighted Aniston’s turn as a stripper, We’re the Millers managed to bring audiences in and will ultimately prove to be very profitable for Warner Bros. In a crowded marketplace overstuffed with special effects driven blockbusters, this comedy provided a refreshing change of pace just by offering something different.
We’re the Millers – based on Monday’s official box office numbers – overtook Elysium to become the daily leader. Strong word-of-mouth amongst audiences and the possibility of Kick-Ass 2 appealing to Elysium’s target audience could help the comedy leap frog Neill Blomkamp’s latest this weekend.
#3 - Elysium
Last week’s champ Elysium should fall in at number three in its second weekend. Neill Blomkamp’s sophomore feature film grossed $29.8 million during its first three days. Despite being Matt Damon’s biggest opening since The Bourne Ultimatum, Elysium severely underperformed and failed to match the opening numbers of District 9 ($37.3 million). With its critical reception mixed (read our review for an example) and audience word-of-mouth not as strong as District 9, it's unlikely Elysium will have strong legs at the box office. Kick-Ass 2 – another R rated action movie – could potentially take away business from the sci-fi film.
#4 - Planes
After underestimating the power of Planes (read our review) last week, we’re picking the Disney animated film to finish fourth this weekend. The non-Pixar Cars spin-off grossed $22.2 million during its opening weekend to finish in third place. Even though it won’t be as successful as other Disney animation titles in the long run, Planes still is one of the few family films still playing (Despicable Me 2 has already left its mark) and gives parents with young children a safe choice for a day at the movies.
#5 - Lee Daniels' The Butler
Our choice for fifth place is Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The historical drama should provide a solid counter-programming option for adult audiences who are tired of the big summer spectacles. Recent films in this genre including The Help, Lincoln, and this year’s 42 all performed strongly at the box office, indicating audiences will also turn out for a good drama - even in the summer movie season.
#10 - The Wolverine
We believe the Ashton Kutcher-starring Steve Jobs biopic Jobs will not finish in the top five during its opening weekend. The film has received little publicity and buzz is negative leading into its release. Remember that Aaron Sorkin is busy working on a script for a different film about the late former Apple CEO and audiences might wait for that project to come into fruition.
This week’s last major release Paranoia should also finish outside the top five. Even though he has a minor role in the Hunger Games franchise, Liam Hemsworth is not as recognizable to casual audiences as his brother Chris and this tech-thriller may struggle to make an impact in a crowded market.
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):
- Kick-Ass 2 - 2,800 theaters
- Lee Daniels' The Butler - 2,500 theaters
- Paranoia - 2,400 theaters
- Jobs - 2,000 theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- Ain't Them Bodies Saints - 3 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 (Elysium opening): Sal reports that there is a three-way tie between Bman, Cody, and Ezra. All three had perfect scores of 15 and nailed the 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 - Elysium (3)
- #2 - We're the Millers (3)
- #3 - Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (1)
- #4 - 2 Guns (1)
- #5 - The Wolverine (0)
- #10 - Grown-Ups 2
- Final Score: 8 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)