Box Office Prediction: Hail, Caesar! vs. PPZ

Hail Caesar vs. PPZ

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 Kung Fu Panda 3'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 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 February 5 - 7, 2016.

This weekend, Hail, Caesar! opens in 2,232 theaters, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies debuts in 2,930 locations, and The Choice plays in 2,631

#1 - Kung Fu Panda 3

Look for last week's champ, Kung Fu Panda 3 (read our review), to repeat in the top spot during its second weekend. Though the animated sequel marked a new low for the franchise, it still has a lot going for it. Families do not have much to choose from at this point in time, meaning it can take advantage of limited competition. And its numbers are so far ahead of the other films playing, that it would take a steep drop for it to be in danger of losing the #1 position. If there were more high-profile arrivals this weekend, it might be a different story. But for now, the Kung Fu Panda reigns supreme.

Kung Fu Panda 3 - Po (voiced by Jack Black)

#2 - Hail, Caesar!

Our choice for second is Hail, Caesar!, which is a new comedy from prolific directors Joel and Ethan Coen. While the filmmakers are never ones to really break the bank, they have a loyal following and post respectable numbers more often than not in recent years. Their True Grit remake is something of an anomaly at $171.2 million, but the performances of other films like Burn After Reading ($60.3 million) and No Country for Old Men ($74.2 million) prove that the brothers have some pull with audiences, especially cinephiles who can't wait to see what they make next.

With that in mind, Hail, Caesar! should mark an improvement from 2013's Inside Llewyn Davis ($13.2 million). The film sports a star-studded ensemble that includes George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill, helping it appeal to a wider audience. In addition, the early reviews have been mostly positive, spinning Hail, Caesar! as an entertaining and fun love letter to old 1950s Hollywood. Even if it doesn't rank up with the Coens' best from a critical perspective, the pieces are in place for a solid box office run. Projections currently have it pegged for $12.3 million in its first three days.

#3 - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Coming in third should be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the period/horror mashup based on the popular novel. Fans of the source material, which was a New York Times bestseller, should be excited to see the book come to life, which helps the film's commercial prospects. However, there's some question concerning how much crossover appeal it has. The premise brings Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to mind, and that film only made $37.5 million in 2012. To general audiences at least, these concepts are more interesting in theory than they are on the big screen. From the looks of it, PPZ won't break any new ground.

The film has been hit by negative reviews out of the gate, which will limit the overall reach of the project. It may not be able to get out of its niche, since there's little buzz surrounding it and there are other, better received options currently playing. PPZ should bring in horror fans looking for something new, but beyond that it isn't looking good. Tracking indicates an opening weekend of $11 million, which is even lower than Vampire Hunter.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane and Elizabeth

#4 - The Revenant

Our pick for fourth is The Revenant (read our review), which came in second last week with $12.7 million. Bolstered by its awards nominations, the film has been able to draw in large crowds since it expanded wide in early January. Though business is starting to slow down a bit, the Oscar factor should keep it hanging around the top of the charts. Adult moviegoers may opt for the newer Hail, Caesar! this weekend, but there's still interest in The Revenant as awards season heats up.

#5 - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Rounding out the top five should be Star Wars: The Force Awakens (read our review). Even though the hype has started to cool off a bit, there is still somewhat of a demand to see the return of the galaxy far, far away on the big screen. It came in third place last week with $11.1 million and has held very well over the course of its domestic run. For at least one more time, it should be one of the top earners.

Last Week's Recap

Our Picks:

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3
  2. The Revenant
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Finest Hours
  5. Fifty Shades of Black


  1. Kung Fu Panda 3
  2. The Revenant
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Finest Hours
  5. Ride Along 2


Next Week: Deadpool, Zoolander 2, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office [1] [2] (Opening Weekend Projections)

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