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 Moana's opening 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 December 9 - 11, 2016.
This weekend, Office Christmas Party opens in 3,210 theaters and Miss Sloane expands to 1,598 locations.
#1 - Moana
Our choice for the top spot once again is Moana (read our review), which won last weekend with $28.2 million. Though Disney's latest animated hit isn't the runaway hit some of the Mouse House's earlier releases were this year, it's still had an impressive run up to this point and still has little in the way of competition. As the only animated film playing wide, it maintains its monopoly on its target demographic and should have another fruitful outing. It honestly may be a closer race than one might expect (since Moana's business took a 50 percent hit last week), but it's never wise to bet against the family movie. Moana should be able to squeak out another victory, especially since its word-of-mouth has been positive.
#2 - Office Christmas Party
Coming in second should be the new R-rated comedy Office Christmas Party, which sports a star-studded ensemble that includes the likes of Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, and Olivia Munn. The premise (an office has a wild Christmas party that goes out of control) is very straightforward, and the marketing has sold the film as a wild ride. The material may not be for everyone, but fans of the genre should be inclined to check it out, particularly after Bad Santa 2 failed to leave much of an impression on audiences. There's a void in the marketplace that needs to be filled, though demand for Office Christmas Party may not be too high with Why Him? just around the corner.
Still, Office Christmas Party should be able to do well for itself in the beginning. Early reviews might be mixed, but it is in a position to succeed without much direct competition. Plus, it's a timely release since we're in the thick of the holiday season, meaning some moviegoers may be in the mood for a Christmas-themed movie that subverts the usual tropes. Projections are currently set for $17 million, which would be a decent start for the film.
#3 - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Our pick for third is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (read our review), which came in second last week with $18.1 million. Though not as big as the previous Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts still keeps chugging along and has done fairly well at the box office so far in its run - though most of its damage has come via the international markets instead of the domestic. With the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story still a week away, Fantastic Beasts remains the franchise tentpole of choice and should continue to hang around the top of the charts for at least another week.
#4 - Arrival
Coming in fourth should be Arrival (read our review). Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi drama has parlayed its critical acclaim and awards buzz into a healthy domestic total, grossing $75.2 million in the U.S. as of this writing. Though it can't content with the more high-profile works currently playing, the film should be able to have another good weekend, as fans of heady, intellectual sci-fi and cinephiles following the awards circuit will still be inclined to check it out.
#5 - Allied
Rounding out the top five should be Allied (read our review). Robert Zemeckis' World War II drama hasn't found much traction at the box office during its run, but it's still been able to stand out thanks to its pairing of the recognizable Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Though interest is somewhat low in the film, it should be able to stick around.
Last Week's Recap
In a special edition of the box office prediction, we analyzed Moana's chances of topping Frozen's domestic numbers. Since its second weekend decrease was 50.1, the odds of that happening are now low. We theorized Moana would have to have a hold that was more in the range of Zootopia's 31.6 percent drop-off to have a realistic shot, given the competition it's going to face soon in the coming weeks.
Next Week: How high will Rogue One go?