Box Office Prediction: Finding Dory vs. Central Intelligence

Box Office Finding Dory Central Intelligence

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend 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 The Conjuring 2'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 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 17 - 19.

This weekend, Finding Dory hits 4,305 theaters and Central Intelligence plays in 3,508 locations.

#1 - Finding Dory

In the old days of the Box Office Prediction game, we would designate certain releases as an "automatic three points," meaning they were as close to a lock for finishing in the top spot as you could get. Finding Dory, the latest from Pixar Animation Studios, certainly qualifies for that classification. It is the sequel to one of the studio's most beloved and popular efforts, Finding Nemo, which grossed $380.8 million domestically (including a 3D re-release back in 2012). That's second only to Toy Story 3 on Pixar's all-time charts, indicating that there's a large audience for more stories set in this world. In addition, Dory herself is one of the company's most iconic creations, with over 25 million "likes" on Facebook. Giving her the spotlight is a great way to sell tickets.

As such, Dory is on track to have one of the best opening weekends of 2016, and possibly the strongest in Pixar history. Not only does the film sport the cross-generational appeal that Pixar has built its reputation on, the reviews have been very positive so far - suggesting this Pixar sequel is more Toy Story 2 than Cars 2. Even if it's not as great as its predecessor (few animated films are), Dory will be able to attract a huge audience and delight families with a summer blockbuster. In a season known more for disappointments than successes, this is just what Hollywood needs to bounce back. Projections are set at a massive $131 million for the first three days. Pixar has long been a hits factory, and there's no reason that'll change now.

Finding Dory box office projection

#2 - Central Intelligence

In a very distant second should be Central Intelligence, a new action comedy starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Both leads have solid box office track records; Johnson headlined San Andreas ($155.1 million) and has a role in the Fast & Furious franchise, while Hart has been in projects like Ride Along ($134.9 million) and Get Hard ($90.4 million). Moviegoers have taken a liking to them over the last handful of years, even though all of their films aren't hits. For instance, earlier this year, Hart's Ride Along 2 saw diminishing returns when compared to the original, making $90.8 million. And even Johnson's charisma wasn't enough to boost Hercules ($72.6 million) or Pain & Gain ($49.8 million).

Still, the duo have proven to be successful enough that it wouldn't be wise to bet against them. Based on the trailers, Hart and Johnson have excellent chemistry with one another, and Central Intelligence's standing as an original film could be a refreshing change-of-pace for a summer loaded with sequels. Plus, comedy fans haven't had much to check out lately, and the pairing of these two actors could prove to be irresistible. The only downside is that early reviews for Central Intelligence have been mixed, but they have leaned more to the positive side as of this writing. Tracking has it pegged for a $34 million opening weekend, which would be a good start.

#3 - The Conjuring 2

Look for last week's champ, The Conjuring 2 (read our review), to slide to third in its second weekend. The horror sequel posted a strong $40.4 million during its first three days, which is in line with how its predecessor performed in 2013. Thanks to the positive word-of-mouth, Conjuring 2 shouldn't see too drastic of a drop-off, but the arrival of two high-profile new releases makes hanging on to the top spot near impossible. Still, the first film saw only a 46.9 percent decrease, so the well-received sequel should demonstrate strong legs.

The Conjuring 2 spinoff The Nun in the works

#4 - Now You See Me 2

Our pick for the fourth spot is Now You See Me 2 (read our review), which opened in third place last weekend with $22.3 million. Though it debuted just under Warcraft's $24.1 million, the magic/crime sequel has been able to surpass the video game adaptation on the daily charts during the week, suggesting that it will hold better than Warcraft. The odds of Now You See Me 2 equaling the totals of the original are low, but it should hang around for at least another week.

#5 - Warcraft

Rounding out the top five should be Warcraft (read our review). While it's breaking records in China, the fantasy film has not found much success in America, where it made just $24.1 million in its first three days. With several high-profile films currently playing (and new ones opening), it's unlikely Warcraft will be able to turn things around and become a hit domestically. If the word-of-mouth was stronger, then it'd have a better chance, but interest in Warcraft is fairly low.

Last Week's Recap

Our picks:

  1. The Conjuring 2
  2. Now You See Me 2
  3. Warcraft
  4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
  5. X-Men: Apocalypse


  1. The Conjuring 2
  2. Warcraft
  3. Now You See Me 2
  4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
  5. X-Men: Apocalypse


Next Week: Independence Day: Resurgence, Finding Dory, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office Opening Weekend Projections)

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