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 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation'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 August 7 - 9, 2015.
This weekend, the Fantastic Four reboot hits 3,800 theaters, The Gift opens in an unspecified number of nationwide locations, Ricki and the Flash plays in 1,800 theaters, and Shaun the Sheep Movie debuts in 2,200 theaters. In limited release, Dark Places, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Kahill Gibran's The Prophet all open in on an unspecified amount of screens. Cop Car plays in 3 locations and Sneakerheadz plays in 4 theaters.
#1 - Fantastic Four
Our pick for the top spot this weekend is Fantastic Four, a film reboot of Marvel's First Family. It's no secret that the buzz for this one hasn't exactly been stellar, with everything from the creative decisions to the marketing campaign being subject to endless criticism. Making matters worse are the initial professional reviews, which are painting the project as an uninspired superhero origin story. Despite featuring a talented young cast and director Josh Trank coming off of the sleeper hit Chronicle, there doesn't seem to be a lot of positive things to say about this one so far.
Even so, the superhero genre is still one of the kings of the box office, and even a middling product can attract the masses in its opening weekend. For starters, the Fantastic Four still have a large fan base thanks to their recognizable characters and some moviegoers will be curious to see what all the fuss is about when the movie finally opens. Those factors may help it some, but don't expect Fantastic Four to be the next Jurassic World. Early projections currently have it pegged for a $46 million, which is pretty low for a film of this stature.
#2 - Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Our pick for second is last week's champ, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (read our review). The fifth installment in Tom Cruise's long-running action franchise posted an impressive $55.2 million last week, which was good for the second best debut in the series. Audiences and critics are both responding well to writer/director Christopher McQuarrie's tale of thrills and suspense, so it stands reason to believe it will have strong legs as it continues its box office run. It didn't open high enough to make us feel confident in its repeat chances, but it should be one of the summer's better holdovers.
#3 - Ant-Man
Coming in third should be Ant-Man (read our review), which finished in this spot last week with $12.8 million. Marvel's latest film hasn't exactly set the marketplace on fire, but it is performing well and has maintained a nice hold throughout its theatrical run. Thanks to a mostly positive critical reception from pundits and moviegoers, it has sailed by on word-of-mouth. With Fantastic Four being the only real new high-profie release, it's easy to see a scenario where Ant-Man maintains its box office footing.
#4 - Ricki and the Flash
Our pick for fourth is Ricki and the Flash, the new film starring Meryl Streep. Her presence in a new project is enough to make cinephiles turn their heads, even when it's one that hasn't been heavily marketed (like Ricki and the Flash). Awareness may be an issue for this film, but it seems to be coming out at the right time when the box office is starting to cool down. The nice change-of-pace this "smaller" work offers will give it a good counter-programming appeal. Tracking projects a $9 million debut.
#5 - Vacation
Rounding out the top five should be Vacation (read our review), which underwhelmed in its first weekend with $14.6 million. The sequel/reboot of the famous comedy franchise has not been the recipient of warm word-of-mouth, meaning it is very unlikely it can turn things around and boast strong legs. After failing to leave a memorable first impression, Vacation is going to begin its slide down the charts now.
Last Week's Recap
We correctly predicted all five spots.
Next Week: The Man From UNCLE, Straight Outta Compton, and more!