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 Nightcrawler'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 7 - 9, 2014.
This weekend, sci-fi movie Interstellar opens in 3,500 theaters and animated film Big Hero 6 debuts in 3,700 locations. In limited release, the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything plays on just five screens.
#1 - Interstellar
Our choice for first this week is Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. The film is the director's first since he concluded his immensely-popular Dark Knight trilogy - a series that made $2.5 billion worldwide. Nolan's non-Batman filmography is a bit spottier than people may think, box office wise, but 2010's Inception put him on the map as a moviemaking force. That original sci-fi project opened with $62.7 million en route to a $292.5 million domestic total.
Given Nolan's stature with causal moviegoers, and the fact that Interstellar is one of the most anticipated movies of the fall, it stands reason to believe that the auteur's latest will be another major success. Early reviews already have many saying it's a spectacle to behold, and the movie will also get a boost thanks to its high-profile cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain. Early tracking indicates a $76 million debut (even with the three-hour run time), which puts Interstellar in the driver's seat this weekend.
#2 - Big Hero 6
Our pick for second is Big Hero 6. This year's struggles for animated family fare have been well-documented, but this one could be film that turns it around. It comes from Disney Animation, the studio behind recent hits like Frozen ($400 million) and Wreck-it Ralph ($189.4 million). The Marvel comic on which it is based is very obscure, but the association moviegoers have with the company behind it will more than make up the difference. Plus, Baymax looks to be the new favorite character for all the youngsters.
Typically, it's not wise to bet against a family movie, but they rarely go up against a film on the level of Interstellar. Despite playing in 200 more locations, Big Hero 6 is projected to bring in $53 million this weekend, which is more than $20 million below Interstellar's tracking. Going head-to-head with one of this generation's premiere blockbuster directors may prevent it from reaching the top, but the film should still do strong business. After all, it is going after a different demographic than Interstellar and that crowd is hungry for something fresh.
#3 - Nightcrawler
Coming in third should be Nightcrawler (read our review). The film has generated a very positive response, with much acclaim being given to star Jake Gyllenhaal, but all that buzz couldn't get it to the top spot in its opening weekend, as it made just $10.4 million. That was good enough for second place, but it's still a weak total and Nightcrawler will have its hands full with two major wide releases hitting screens this Friday. It may hold fairly well thanks to it being a nice bit of counter programming for adult audiences, but it should take a huge dent with that competition.
#4 - Ouija
Look for the two-time champ, Ouija (read our review), to fall to fourth in its second weekend. With Halloween past us, there isn't much appeal for a poorly-received horror flick at this time of year. It survived the typical second weekend crash thanks to viewers being in the mood for a scare or two, but trips into space and adorable robots will have their hearts this weekend, setting Ouija up for a big fall down the charts.
#5 - Fury
Rounding out the top five should be Fury (read our review), which made an additional $8.8 million last week to raise its domestic total to $60.1 million. While it has generated favorable reactions from those who have seen it, the Brad Pitt vehicle never did break out the way some thought it might. It is putting up respectable numbers, but the lack of Oscar buzz (compared to other fall releases) means that Fury's days in the top five are numbered.
Last Week's Recap
Last week, our predictions were fairly solid, as we correctly believed that the Halloween holiday would benefit Ouija (helping it stay on top), and four of our choices ended up in the top five.
The one outlier was John Wick. The Keanu Reeves vehicle was our pick for third place last week after opening with a solid $14.1 million. The film has generated strong word-of-mouth thanks to critic reviews (read our review) and general audience responses, but it didn't catch on in the mainstream. John Wick fell all the way to sixth in its second weekend, taking quite a dive for a movie that opened in second place during its first three days.
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: Big Hero 6, Interstellar, Dumb and Dumber To, and more!
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90
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