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 Lone Survivor'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 January 24-26, 2014.
This weekend, horror/action film I, Frankenstein gets a release of 2,700 theaters.
#1 - Ride Along
Look for last week’s champ, Ride Along (read our review) to repeat this weekend. During its first three days, the buddy-cop comedy made $41.2 million, setting a new January domestic record. Despite a poor critical reception, the film has benefitted from strong audience word-of-mouth and should play well throughout the month. Even if it loses some business to new arrival I, Frankenstein, Ride Along opened so high that it would take quite a tumble for it to not finish first again.
#2 - Lone Survivor
Coming in second should be Lone Survivor (read our review). Peter Berg’s emotional war drama grossed $26.3 million last week to raise its domestic total to $77.2 million. Like Ride Along, this film has received positive word-of-mouth from moviegoers, which has carried it to a successful box office run so far. With little competition arriving this weekend, that trend should continue.
#3 - I, Frankenstein
Our choice for the third spot is I, Frankenstein. While it may take away some business from our predicted top two picks, there’s not enough here to suggest that it will emerge as a breakout hit. The marketing campaign has highlighted the involvement of the Underworld producers, but the Kate Beckinsale-led horror/action franchise has never posted huge numbers. Underworld: Evolution, which came out in 2006, marks the high point of that series with a $62.3 domestic total.
Star Aaron Eckhart is recognizable to the many people who have seen The Dark Knight, but that does not make him a reliable box office draw. The film is also hitting theaters with very little buzz, as the trailers and TV spots have failed at making the movie look like an appealing option. I, Frankenstein could find a niche audience this weekend, but it won’t be a mainstream hit this weekend.
#4 - The Nut Job
Coming in fourth should be the animated film The Nut Job (read our review). Open Road Film’s family movie exceeded expectations (including ours) by making $25.2 million during its opening weekend (finishing in third). While Frozen continues to post solid numbers, it’s clear that the targeted demographic appreciated having a newer option at the multiplex. With The LEGO Movie still a couple weeks away, The Nut Job should remain the leading choice for families.
#5 - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Rounding out the top five should be Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (read our review). The spy-thriller failed to have much of an impact during its opening weekend, making only $15.5 million during its first three days. Paramount was hoping to turn this into a series, but it’s obvious that the Tom Clancy-inspired character is not as popular as a certain 00 agent created by Ian Fleming. It’s highly unlikely this movie has much staying power.
#10 - The Wolf of Wall Street
Our tiebreaker for this week is Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (read our review). Thanks in part to a handful of Oscar nominations, the dark comedy came in ninth last week as it continues its long trek to $100 million.
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):
- I, Frankenstein - 2,700
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
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 (Ride Along's opening): Sal reports that the winner is Anna Naef with a score of 10.
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 - Ride Along (3)
- #2 - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (0)
- #3 - Lone Survivor (1)
- #4 - Frozen (1)
- #5 - The Wolf of Wall Street (0)
- #10 - Saving Mr. Banks
- Final Score: 5 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)