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 The Fault in Our Stars'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 13 - 15, 2014.
This weekend, animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens in 4,100 theaters and comedy sequel 22 Jump Street debuts at over 3,000 locations. On the limited front, The Rover gets an unspecified release and The Signal opens in over 100 theaters.
#1 - How to Train Your Dragon 2
Coming easily in first should be the animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2. The 2010 original was one of the biggest hits for DreamWorks, raking in $217.5 million and earning the adoration of moviegoers. In the four years since, How to Train Your Dragon has become one of the most popular animated movies, leading to big expectations for the highly anticipated follow-up. Early projections are in the $70 million range – a noticeable increase from the first film’s $43.7 million opening.
Also helping How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the fact that the family film market has a very large void that will now be filled. The last major animated movie to hit theaters was Rio 2, which opened back in April. Now that school’s out and kids are on summer vacation, families should turn up in droves for this one.
#2 - 22 Jump Street
Our choice for second is comedy sequel 22 Jump Street. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are certainly the comedic filmmakers of the moment, as their LEGO Movie was one of 2014’s first blockbusters with a $255.8 million domestic gross. Obviously, this R-rated offering is going for an entirely different audience, but the directors can draw in the adults as well. In 2012, 21 Jump Street entered theaters with low expectations and exceeded them – bringing in a healthy $138.4 million.
Being a follow-up to one of the best-received modern comedies isn’t the only reason 22 Jump Street could be a big hit. Early reviews are very positive, with many critics claiming that the sequel is just as funny as the first film. The strong word-of-mouth is a stark contrast from typical comedy sequels (think: Hangover Part II) and could encourage skeptics to check it out. Stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have also seen their profiles expand since the March 2012 release of the original installment, with successes like Magic Mike ($113.7 million) and The Wolf of Wall Street ($116.9 million) added to their résumés. All these factors should lead to a very solid opening, which is currently projected at $64 million.
#3 - The Fault in Our Stars
Look for last week’s champ, The Fault in Our Stars (read our review) to fall to third during its second week. The romantic-drama opened with a huge $48 million intake, parlaying the popularity of John Greene’s novel into a nice box office profit. However, it looks like its reign at the top of the charts will be short-lived. The film was particularly front-loaded, making most of its total on Friday before slipping 51 percent on Saturday, which is one of the largest drops in history. Since there isn’t anything else targeting the same demographic right now, it will still post solid numbers, but the competition of two big sequels will be too much to handle
#4 - Maleficent
Our choice for fourth is Maleficent (read our review). Disney’s reimagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale has become one of Angelina Jolie’s biggest hits, grossing $128.1 million through two weeks of release. That said, it should start to see some decrease in business. The arrival of How to Train Your Dragon 2 will take a large chunk of Maleficent’s family audience, causing it to fall a bit. Last week’s $34.3 million total displayed strong legs however, so it will most likely stay in the top five for at least one more week.
#5 - Edge of Tomorrow
Rounding out the top five should be Edge of Tomorrow (read our review). Despite earning critical acclaim across the board, Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi picture failed to connect domestically, illustrating his decreasing box office clout in the States. One would think that such a strong reception from critics and moviegoers (who have seen it) would lead to a big hold, but Edge of Tomorrow only opened with $28.7 million and big-budget tentpole films typically see a major decrease in their second week. Not only that, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street are poised to dominate the marketplace this weekend, making it even more difficult for Edge of Tomorrow to compete for the attention of moviegoers.
#10 - Neighbors
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):
- How to Train Your Dragon 2 - 4,100 theaters
- 22 Jump Street - 3,000+ theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- The Rover - unspecified
- The Signal - 100+ 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 (The Fault in Our Stars' opening): Sal reports that Memo Grajeda and Chris B both had perfect 15s, but Memo Grajeda emerged victorious due to 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 - The Fault in Our Stars (3)
- #2 - Edge of Tomorrow (1)
- #3 - Maleficent (1)
- #4 - X-Men: Days of Future Past (3)
- #5 - A Million Ways to Die in the West (3)
- #10 - Million Dollar Arm
- 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)