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 Dumb and Dumber To'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 21 - 23, 2014.
This weekend, young-adult adaptation The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opens in over 4,000 locations.
#1 - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
The easy choice for first this week is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. Using the popularity of the source material novels as a launching point, Lionsgate has parlayed Suzanne Collins' works into one of the most lucrative non-superhero film franchises around. As they look to set up next year's finale, early tracking indicates that the first of the two Mockingjay movies should bring in around $152 million during opening weekend, which is on par with what the previous two installments grossed. Last year's Catching Fire set a new November record with $158 million.
As such, the question isn't if the third film in the series will finish in the top spot, it's how much it will make. Lionsgate is striking when the iron is flaming hot by releasing the films in quick succession, and the blockbuster is entering theaters with a real "event" feel to it. Between the large following the books have, Jennifer Lawrence's star power, and the previous performance of the well-received earlier entries, the odds are thoroughly in Mockingjay - Part 1's favor - 3D surcharge or not.
#2 - Big Hero 6
Our pick for second is Big Hero 6 (read our review). The latest from Disney Animation faced some steep competition with Dumb and Dumber To opening and held in there, despite losing the weekend to the comedy sequel. The gap between the two movies was very small (less than $2 million) and the 38.3 percent decrease from opening weekend is atypical from what other films have done this year. The family film is definitely going to hold well throughout the holiday season, and while it's debatable if it will post Frozen numbers, Big Hero 6 is enjoying a very warm reception from critics and moviegoers, so that word-of-mouth should guide it towards another strong weekend.
#3 - Dumb and Dumber To
Look for last week's champ, Dumb and Dumber To (read our review) to slide to third in its second weekend. There's no denying that audiences were thrilled to see Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back together again after all these years, which helped the delayed sequel make an impressive $36.1 million in its first three days. However, while many agree that it's a harmless followup, the new installment in the series isn't generating quite the response that the 1994 original did, which raises questions about how strong it will hold. Comedy fans don't have much else to turn to, but with a new Hunger Games film releasing, Dumb and Dumber To may struggle to maintain legs with casual moviegoers.
#4 - Interstellar
Our pick for fourth is Interstellar (read our review). Christopher Nolan's latest isn't making as much money as his films usually do, but it's worth pointing out that a majority of his blockbusters have featured a certain Caped Crusader to raise ticket sales. Even though opinions are all over the place regarding Interstellar, it's still holding decently with another $28.3 million in the bank this past weekend (raising the domestic total to $96.9 million). Nolan's clout and the conversation the film is generating will keep Interstellar hanging around in the top five for another week.
#5 - Beyond the Lights
Rounding out the top five should be Beyond the Lights. The music drama grossed $6.2 million during its opening weekend and with only one new wide release this weekend, it should be able to remain in the top five since most of the holdovers have already had their day in the sun in terms of box office profits.
Last Week's Recap
We correctly predicted the movies that would be in the top five - just not the right order. We had Dumb and Dumber To and Big Hero 6 switched around in our predictions, basing that decision off of the family demographic being in need of a breakout hit. It was a very close call (less than $2 million separated the two films), but the nostalgia to see Harry and Lloyd go on another adventure was more of a draw than Baymax.
That's it for this week's breakdown. Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results!
Agree or disagree with our predictions? Which five films do you think will top the box office this weekend? Share your own picks in the comments section below!
Next Week: Horrible Bosses 2, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and more!
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90