Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend - in collaboration with the Screen Rant Underground podcast Box Office Battle - 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 Non-Stop'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 March 7 - 9, 2014.
This weekend, animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman gets a release of 3,800 theaters and action sequel 300: Rise of an Empire debuts in over 3,400 theaters. The Grand Budapest Hotel gets an extremely limited release of 4 theaters.
#1 - Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Our choice for the top spot this week is the new animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Now that The LEGO Movie has run its course, DreamWorks is looking to take advantage of the lack of family films on the market and make a big splash with their latest movie. The studio is second only to Pixar in terms of reputation, as they have a long list of box office hits on their résumé including the Shrek series and How to Train Your Dragon. Early reviews have also been very positive, which helps its chances.
#2 - 300: Rise of an Empire
Coming in second should be 300: Rise of an Empire. Serving as ideal counterprogramming to Mr. Peabody and Sherman, this fantasy/action film is also the sequel to 2007’s 300. Zack Snyder’s stylish movie made $210.6 million when it was released. Seven years is a long time to wait between installments, but Warner Bros. obviously believes the brand name is strong enough to deliver another hit.
While we believe Rise of an Empire will post solid numbers, there are several reasons why it probably won’t be the big breakout success the original was ($70.8 million opening weekend). A main selling point of the first film was King Leonidas and his ultra-quotable dialogue, and with that element now absent, casual moviegoers could be less inclined to see this new movie. Not only is seven years a pretty sizable gap for a sequel (potentially lowering audience demand), several similar titles like The Legend of Hercules and Pompeii have flopped recently. Die hard fans of the franchise will no doubt check Rise of an Empire out, but its unlikely to be as massive of a mainstream hit.
#3 - Non-Stop
Our choice for third place is Non-Stop (read our review). Liam Neeson’s new action thriller topped the charts last week, earning $28.8 million domestically. Neeson’s ability to draw in audiences should help this movie stick around in the top five for a couple more weeks, but action fans could opt for Rise of an Empire, which would lower business for Non-Stop.
#4 - Son of God
Coming in fourth should be Son of God. The religious drama finished in second last week, making $25.6 million. Despite a minimal marketing presence and no bankable stars in the cast, it has obviously found a fairly sizable audience, which could give it legs at the box office.
#5 - The LEGO Movie
Rounding out the top five should be The LEGO Movie (read our review). WB’s animated smash had an “awesome” run, grossing $210.4 million so far. However, the arrival of Mr. Peabody and Sherman will undoubtedly lower the demand for Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s big hit and its numbers will continue to decrease.
#10 - Frozen
Director Wes Anderson never has seen one of his films go on to be a major mainstream hit, but the box office performances of The Royal Tenenbaums ($52.3 million) and Moonrise Kingdom ($45.5 million) indicates that there is an audience for his quirky brand of filmmaking. Unfortunately, The Grand Budapest Hotel will not join these ranks (at least, until it expands). Opening in only four theaters this weekend, Anderson’s latest is not playing in nearly enough locations to crack the top five or work as a tiebreaker.
That's it for this week's breakdown.
Now, if you want to participate in the weekly Box Office Battle, it's time for you to make your picks! In the comments section below, post what you think will be the top five movies this weekend at the box office as well as your own number ten tiebreaker. Then, tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the results and find out who won.
Opening in theaters this week (Wide):
- 300: Rise of an Empire - 3,400+ theaters
- Mr. Peabody and Sherman - 3,800 theaters
Opening in theaters this week (Limited):
- The Grand Budapest Hotel - 4 theaters
Box Office Battle Scoring Rules: You get three (3) points for each direct match with the weekend actuals and one (1) point for each movie placed within one spot of the exact position. A perfect score is 15 points. Tie-breakers are not worth any points but, in the event of a tie, the person with a tie-breaker selection closest to the number 10 spot will be awarded the win.
Last Week’s Official Box Office Battle Reader Winner (Non-Stop's opening): Sal reports that The Prince That Was Promised is the winner again with a perfect score of 15.
For the record, here are our picks from last week - along with the corresponding amount of points we received for each pick (listed in parenthesis).
- #1 - The LEGO Movie (0)
- #2 - Non-Stop (1)
- #3 - Son of God (1)
- #4 - 3 Days to Kill (3)
- #5 - Robocop (1)
- #10 - Ride Along
- Final Score: 6 points and a perfect tiebreaker
Make sure to check back later this week for the official box office results and tune into the Screen Rant Underground podcast for the weekly winners!
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90
Source: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule)