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 Maleficent'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 June 6 - 8, 2014.
This weekend, sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow releases in over 3,300 theaters while cancer romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars debuts in 3,000 locations. In limited release, Obvious Child and The Sacrament get unspecified releases and Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon plays in four theaters. Also, indie comedy Chef expands to 1,298 locations.
#1 - The Fault in Our Stars
Cancer drama The Fault in Our Stars is our choice to take the weekend. Based on the bestselling book, director Josh Boone’s adaptation has acquired a very large following on social media, leading to high box office projections. The combination of positive reviews and an enthusiastic fan base has early tracking in the $36 million range. Similar titles haven’t always fared as well – 2011’s 50/50 only managed to make $35 million in its entire domestic run – but it appears as if the romance angle and the PG-13 rating will make this tale a little more accessible.
Also helping in that department is the presence of star Shailene Woodley. The actress rose to prominence earlier this year with her turn in Divergent ($148.6 million). While she’s not quite a household name yet, she has appeared in a few hits throughout her career and gives the film a familiar face. Given the subject matter, it will also be a great source of counter-programming for those uninterested in typical summer action fare. Despite not having a notable marketing campaign, we think these factors will help The Fault in Our Stars rise to the top.
#2 - Edge of Tomorrow
Look for Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi vehicle, Edge of Tomorrow, to finish in second during its opening weekend. In addition to an omnipresent advertising push, the movie has been the subject of excellent reviews, with many critics calling it one of the best films of the year. Coupled with sci-fi’s popularity amongst moviegoers and the intriguing “live, die, repeat” Groundhog Day meets Aliens setup, one would think Edge of Tomorrow would be poised for a huge debut. However, the film is not tracking well, as early projections indicate a $28 million opening. There’s a chance that the word-of-mouth could reverse those fortunes, but for now it looks like the film will have an uphill battle in regards to winning the week.
Cruise isn’t exactly the box office titan he used to be and the performance of his recent outings like Oblivion ($89.1 million) and Jack Reacher (over $80 million) indicate as such. For whatever reason, audiences are starting to tire of the star. Perhaps as a way of combating this, trailers are using director Doug Liman’s involvement as a key selling point. Calling the shots on The Bourne Identity ($121.6 million) and Mr. and Mrs. Smith ($186.3 million), he certainly has credibility with action fans. There’s a lot working in this film’s favor, but it looks like The Fault in Our Stars is too big to handle.
#3 - Maleficent
Look for last week’s champ, Maleficent (read our review) to slip to third during its second weekend. Opening with $69.4 million, the Sleeping Beauty reimagining was Angelina Jolie’s biggest debut by a mile and the film received a positive response from moviegoers. Still, its first three days weren’t as lucrative as other Disney films like Alice in Wonderland or Oz: The Great and Powerful, indicating that the demand isn’t as high as other fairy tale reboots. With its PG rating, Maleficent should continue to bring in families, but in regards to the masses, two high profile nationwide releases will most likely steal its thunder, and the infamous second week fall claims another victim.
#4 - X-Men: Days of Future Past
Coming in fourth should be X-Men: Days of Future Past (read our review). Critics and audiences praised Bryan Singer’s triumphant return to the Marvel universe, but that did not give it strong legs at the box office. Slipping 64.2% in its second weekend, the superhero sequel managed “only” $32.5 million in its second weekend. As Edge of Tomorrow opens with a similar demographic in mind, those numbers will continue to go down.
#5 - A Million Ways to Die in the West
Rounding out the top five should be A Million Ways to Die in the West (read our review). Seth MacFarlane’s second cinematic effort will not be as profitable as his first, since it made just $16.7 million during its opening weekend. That’s lower than other comedy flops, but fans of the genre don’t have much to choose from right now (22 Jump Street is next week), so it might stay on the charts for one more week.
#10 - Million Dollar Arm
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):
- Edge of Tomorrow - 3,300+ theaters
- The Fault in Our Stars - 3,000 theaters
- Chef - 1,298 theaters (expansion)
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- Obvious Child - unspecified
- The Sacrament - unspecified
- Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon - 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 (Maleficent's opening): Sal reports that The Prince That Was Promised won with a perfect 15.
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 - X-Men: Days of Future Past (1)
- #2 - Maleficent (1)
- #3 - A Million Ways to Die in the West (3)
- #4 - Godzilla (3)
- #5 - Blended (3)
- #10 - Rio 2
- Final Score: 11 points
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)