Box Office Prediction: IT vs. Hitman's Bodyguard

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 last weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge 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 September 8 - 10, 2017.

This weekend, IT debuts in 4,103 locations and Home Again opens in 2,940 theaters.

#1 - IT

The clear favorite for first place this weekend is IT (read our review), the highly-anticipated adaptation of Stephen King's famous novel. For starters, the timing could not be more perfect for this film. The box office has just endured an incredibly rough stretch that saw the worst Labor Day since 1999. This was due to a lack of major releases, so the marketplace is starved for anything with any kind of appeal. Because things have been so dire since mid-August, IT faces absolutely no competition as it makes its way into theaters. People have responded very well to the marketing campaign, which generated lots of buzz over the past few months, including dominating the discussion at San Diego Comic-Con 2017.

What gives IT a substantial boost is the fact that it simply lives up to the hype. Reviews for the movie have been very positive, with some feeling it's one of the best King adaptations ever made. That reception will only help its commercial prospects, especially considering the growing influence Rotten Tomatoes has over casual audiences. Horror films typically do well in their first weekend, but this is a perfect storm of a situation that will make IT a bona fide crossover phenomenon. It's all but a guarantee to absolutely shatter the September opening record, with projections pegging it for $81 million in its first three days.

Pennywise in IT

#2 - Home Again

In a very distant second should be Home Again, a new drama starring Reese Witherspoon. It is the only other wide release this weekend besides IT, and while it never posed much of a threat to the horror flick, Home Again is going to be left in the dust instead of posting respectable numbers. The biggest hurdle it has to clear is the critical response, as the film was widely panned. That makes it easy for moviegoers to pass Home Again over in favor of IT, since it doesn't sound like they'll be missing much. There is a chance Home Again emerges as a somewhat solid counter-programming option for those not looking to be scared by a terrifying clown, but that niche is quite small. Estimates suggest only a $6.6 million opening weekend.

#3 - The Hitman's Bodyguard

The Hitman's Bodyguard (read our review), which has enjoyed a prolonged run at the top due to a severe lack of competition, should come in third during its fourth weekend. The main reason the action/comedy has been able to hold to the pole position for this long is because it's been the highest-profile holdover for a while, and it's set to be trampled by IT.

#4 - Wind River

Our pick for fourth is Wind River (read our review). The drama has done decent business through its run so far, making $21.4 million domestically as of this writing. While not a breakout hit, it is proving to be a nice choice for fans of director Taylor Sheridan's previous work. Excluding IT, things are still relatively slow out there, so Wind River should have another fruitful weekend for itself.

#5 - Annabelle: Creation

Rounding out the top five should be Annabelle: Creation (read our review). The Conjuring prequel/spinoff was one of the last big hits of the summer, but it's going to start to slide down the charts now. Fellow horror movie IT is going to steal a lot of business from the month-old Creation, so it no longer has a monopoly on its target audience.

Last Week's Recap

The box office prediction took some time off due to a lack of new wide releases. We are returning to a regular schedule now.

Next Week: American Assassin, mother!, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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