Box Office Prediction: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' vs. 'Thor: The Dark World'

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 Best Man Holiday'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 November 22nd - November 24th, 2013.

This weekend, action sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in 4,100 theaters and the Vince Vaughn comedy Delivery Man debuts in 2,800 theaters. Disney's Frozen sees an extremely limited release of one theater, Philomena opens in four theaters, and The Christmas Candle expands to 400 theaters.


#1 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Our readers should get an automatic three points with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poised to open in the top spot. Last year’s adaptation of the first book in this young adult series became a box office phenomenon, grossing over $408 million domestically (including $152.5 million during its opening weekend). The sequel is set to open even higher, with early projections at $165 million. It’s clear that this franchise has a large following eager for the next installment.

As if this film needed more help turning a profit, the increased star power of Jennifer Lawrence could pique the interest of those uninitiated with the books, as the actress has seen her profile expand after winning an Oscar last year. Like Thor: The Dark World a couple weeks ago, the only question open for debate is how high this movie will open.

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

#2 - The Best Man Holiday

After grossing a strong $30.1 million during its first three days, we’re expecting The Best Man Holiday (read our review) to finish in second again. Operating as counterprogramming (appealing to older audiences) should give the dramedy sequel strong legs – especially since the holidays are right around the corner. Thor: The Dark World could lose some business to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, giving this film a shot to surpass the superhero sequel.

#3 - Thor: The Dark World

Look for last week’s champ, Thor: The Dark World (read our review), to fall to third place in its third weekend. After an impressive $85.7 million opening, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe dropped 57.3 percent in its second weekend, making $36.5 million. The popularity of the Marvel brand should help it do solid business, but the God of Thunder will most likely lose a large portion of his blockbuster audience to the Girl on Fire this week, causing it to slip a bit.

#4 - Delivery Man

Our choice for the fourth spot is this week’s other wide release, Delivery Man. The new Vince Vaughn vehicle could attract some curious moviegoers thanks to its odd premise (a man discovers he is the biological father of 533 children after donating to a fertility clinic), but Vaughn has not had a big hit in a while. This summer’s The Internship was a flop at $44.6 million, indicating that his fan base isn’t as wide as it used to be. Opening against tough competition, it’s doubtful Delivery Man becomes a breakout success.

Delivery Man Trailer (2013)

#5 - Last Vegas

Rounding out the top five should be Last Vegas (read our review). The geriatrics-gone-wild adventure has held up very well, grossing $47.2 million over three weeks. Serving as an option for older moviegoers will help it maintain its spot for at least another week.

#10 - Ender's Game

Our tiebreaker pick for this week is Ender’s Game (read our review). The sci-fi adaptation finished in seventh last week.


While we do expect Disney’s animated film Frozen to do big business when it opens wide, keep in mind that it is only playing in one theater this weekend. The nationwide expansion happens on November 27.

That's it for this week's breakdown.


Screen Rant Underground Podcast

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):

  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - 4,100 theaters
  • Delivery Man - 2,800 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Frozen - 1 theater
  • Philomena - 4 theaters
  • The Christmas Candle - 400 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 Best Man Holiday's opening): Sal reports that Josh D. won with 11 points.

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 - Thor: The Dark World (3)
  • #2 - The Best Man Holiday (3)
  • #3 - Free Birds (1)
  • #4 - Last Vegas (1)
  • #5 - Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (3)
  • #10 - Captain Phillips
  • 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)

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