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 Tammy'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 July 18 - 20, 2014.
This weekend, animated sequel Planes: Fire and Rescue opens in 3,600 theaters, horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy debuts in over 2,800 theaters, and comedy Sex Tape is released in 3,000 locations. On the limited front, we have I Origins opening in 4 theaters, Wish I Was Here playing in 60 locations, and Persecuted receiving an unspecified release.
#1 - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Look for last week’s champ, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (read our review), to finish in first again during its second weekend. The follow-up to the popular Rise of the Planet of the Apes scored $72.6 million in its first three days. It has also received rave reviews from critics and has gained strong word-of-mouth amongst moviegoers. While it should see a significant second weekend decrease (like all tentpoles this season), the positive reception could make that fall softer than most, giving it strong legs at the box office. As none of the other wide releases are generating that much interest, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes could have an easy road to a repeat.
#2 - The Purge: Anarchy
Coming in second should be the new horror film The Purge: Anarchy. Last year, the original installment overcame poor reviews and grossed over $34 million during its opening weekend en route to a $64.4 million domestic total. Since the prospect of a sequel doesn’t really interest the mainstream, Anarchy is projected to have a smaller debut – with tracking indicating $29 million. However, the movie taps into an empty niche in the marketplace. After the failure of Deliver us from Evil, horror fans will be eager to see a new offering from their favorite genre. That could give it some play during the weekend, but probably not enough to dethrone Caesar.
#3 - Sex Tape
Our choice for third is the new comedy Sex Tape. The film sports two recognizable leads in Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz, both of who have starred in their fair share of box office hits. In 2011, the two were in Bad Teacher together, another R-rated comedy that grossed over $100 million.
Besides the cast, the current marketplace will play a large role in leading Sex Tape to success. Comedy fans haven’t had much to choose from in a while. 22 Jump Street has had a very lucrative run, but Schmidt and Jenko are getting ready to bow out of theaters. Tammy failed to connect with audiences, so this could emerge as a viable option for audiences looking for a raunchy laugh. With its opening weekend projected at $26 million, it should do solid business.
#4 - Planes: Fire and Rescue
Coming in fourth should be Planes: Fire and Rescue. While animated films are usually a sure bet for the top of the charts, this budding franchise isn’t quite at the level of offerings from Pixar or DreamWorks. Last summer, Planes opened in third with $22.2 million – indicating that “the world above Cars” was never in high demand. With a $90.2 million domestic total, Disney commissioned a sequel, but the results should be similar. Tracking indicates a $20 million opening weekend, and with crowded summer multiplexes, that seems realistic. Also, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is still hanging around (despite never truly breaking out), giving Fire and Rescue some competition for families.
#5 - Transformers: Age of Extinction
Rounding out the top five should be Transformers: Age of Extinction (read our review). Michael Bay’s latest came in second last week with a $16.3 million weekend. It’s quickly become one of the biggest films of the year, but it’s hard to ignore the dollar figures progressively shrinking as the weeks go by. The three new wide releases are all projected to open higher than Transformers’ third weekend, giving us reason to believe that the robots in disguise will continue to slide down.
#10 - Maleficent
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):
- Planes: Fire and Rescue - 3,600 theaters
- Sex Tape - 3,000 theaters
- The Purge: Anarchy - 2,800+ theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- I Origins - 4 theaters
- Wish I Was Here - 60 theaters
- Persecuted - 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 (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' opening): Sal reports that there was a two-way tie between PeterGecko and Chris B., who both scored 15 points and had the same 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 - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3)
- #2 - Tammy (1)
- #3 - Transformers: Age of Extinction (1)
- #4 - 22 Jump Street (3)
- #5 - How to Train Your Dragon 2 (3)
- #10 - Jersey Boys
- Final Score: 11 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)