Box Office Prediction: Finding Dory vs. Independence Day 2

Independence Day Finding Dory Box Office

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 Finding Dory'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 24 - 26.

This weekend, Independence Day: Resurgence plays in 4,068 theaters, Free State of Jones debuts in 2,815 locations, and The Shallows opens in 2,800 theaters.

#1 - Finding Dory

Playing in line with reports from earlier this week, we believe Finding Dory (read our review) will repeat in the top spot during its second weekend. The latest offering from Pixar Animation Studios set a new opening weekend record with $135 million, taking advantage of the nostalgia for Finding Nemo and its own positive word-of-mouth. Most of the big releases this summer have disappointed commercially, but Dory bucked that trend and proved to be a very fruitful endeavor. Dory has a monopoly on the sought-after family demographic, and it should continue to post high figures - especially with many of the new releases being not that well-received.

Finding Dory clips and characters

#2 - Independence Day: Resurgence

Opening in second should be Independence Day: Resurgence, the belated sequel to the 1996 hit Independence Day. The original film was one of the most successful tentpoles of its era, making $306.1 million during its domestic run. In the 20 years since its release, it's become a favorite of moviegoers, particularly the fun genre action and spectacle. Even with star Will Smith not returning for this followup, Resurgence still has a collection of returning standout characters (Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, for starters), as well as the grand scale that Roland Emmerich is known for.

That said, it's unlikely that Resurgence can unseat Dory as box office champion. The reviews (read ours) have been decidedly mixed, which has been a death spell for other projects like Alice Through the Looking Glass and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows this year. Many of the summer's more disappointing box office performers have been sequels, calling to question whether or not Hollywood has a bad case of sequelitis. Dory seemed to negate that, but it received far better marks than Independence Day, which seems to make a difference in this current marketplace. The projected opening weekend is just $53 million, which is $3 million more when compared to the debut of the original. That's not a good sign - particularly since 20 years of inflation have happened since then.

#3 - Central Intelligence

Our pick for third is Central Intelligence (read our review). The action/comedy got off to a solid start last week, making $35 million in its first three days. Thanks to the undeniable chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, it's found an audience with fans of the genre and should continue to perform well. It may not be a breakaway hit, but it's on its way to turning a small profit.

Central Intelligence (2016) - Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart

#4 - The Shallows

Our pick for the fourth spot is The Shallows (read our review), a horror/thriller movie starring Blake Lively as a surfer who must deal with an attacking shark. The film has kept a somewhat low profile, meaning awareness could be an issue. It's obviously not going to be able to contend with the major releases and holdovers, but The Shallows should appeal to a certain niche of the audience looking for a scare at the theater. Reviews have been positive, suggesting that it could get a boost via word-of-mouth. Tracking indicates a $13 million opening weekend.

#5 - Free State of Jones

Rounding out the top five should be Free State of Jones (read our review), a Civil War drama starring Matthew McConaughey as a Confederate soldier who rebels and fights to free the slaves. The actor went through "the McConaissance" a while back, landing roles in popular films like Magic Mike, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Interstellar - all of which parlayed strong reviews to high box office totals. In that time, he also won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, establishing himself as a thespian to watch. His involvement with Free State should generate some interest, but the film has an uphill climb. Many reviews have been negative, painting it more as a history lesson than a compelling story. It could emerge as a counter-programming pick for older moviegoers, but that's about it.

Last Week's Recap

Our picks:

  1. Finding Dory
  2. Central Intelligence
  3. The Conjuring 2
  4. Now You See Me 2
  5. Warcraft


  1. Finding Dory
  2. Central Intelligence
  3. The Conjuring 2
  4. Now You See Me 2
  5. Warcraft


Next Week: The BFG, The Purge: Election Year, The Legend of Tarzan, and more!

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

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