Box Office Prediction: 'Out of the Furnace' vs. 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

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 Frozen'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 December 6 - 8, 2013.

This weekend, revenge thriller Out of the Furnace opens in 2,000 theaters. The Coen brothers' music drama Inside Llewyn Davis sees a limited release of four theaters.


#1 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Once again, our pick for the top spot is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (read our review). The highly anticipated sequel has quickly become one of the biggest box office hits of the year, grossing $296.2 million in two weeks. It still has the blockbuster market all to itself (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug doesn’t come out until next week), so it should continue to draw in audiences and remain at number one for at least another week.

#2 - Frozen

Look for Disney’s latest, Frozen (read our review), to come in second again. The animated film took advantage of the lack of family-friendly offerings over the Thanksgiving weekend, grossing an impressive $93.5 million over the five days. With no new similar titles on the horizon, Frozen should have a long and prosperous theatrical run during the holiday season.

While the Hunger Games fan base might be too wide for Frozen to contend with, the race could turn out closer than one would think. On Sunday, Frozen out grossed Catching Fire and became the daily leader. Our money is on Katniss, but it’s an interesting development to watch.

#3 - Out of the Furnace

This week’s lone wide release, Out of the Furnace, is our choice for third. Star Christian Bale has see his popularity rise in recent years thanks to his turns in box office hits such as the Dark Knight trilogy and The Fighter. Even though Out of the Furnace is not expected to reach the heights of those films, Bale’s presence should help this movie post solid numbers. It will most likely find an audience with adult moviegoers and prove to be a good option for that demographic until American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street open later this month.

#4 - Thor: The Dark World

Our choice for fourth is Thor: The Dark World (read our review). The latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe made over $11 million last weekend. While there’s still enough interest in Thor and Loki for it to stay in the top five, the demand that fueled its $85.7 million opening weekend isn’t there anymore.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in 'Thor: The Dark World'

#5 - The Best Man Holiday

Rounding out the top five should be The Best Man Holiday (read our review). Universal’s dramedy sequel has hung with tough competition to make over $63 million in three weeks. Its Christmas setting will make it an enticing option throughout the month.

#10 - The Book Thief

Our tiebreaker for this week is The Book Thief (read our review), which finished in seventh place last week.


The Coen brothers have put up respectable box office numbers throughout their career (2009’s A Serious Man is a recent outlier of the trend, however, that film’s “widest” release was 262 theaters), but Inside Llewyn Davis won’t crack the top five this week. It is only opening in four theaters on Friday before expanding to more locations on December 20. CBS Films is also planning a nationwide expansion a few weeks after that. So while their latest awards contender could do solid business eventually, it won’t for the time being.

That's it for this week's breakdown.


Screen Rant Underground Podcast

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):

  • Out of the Furnace - 2,000 theaters

Opening in theaters this week (Limited):

  • Inside Llewyn Davis - 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 (Frozen's opening): Sal reports that Insufferable Deadpool and Carlos both finished with perfect 15s, but Carlos is the winner by virtue of getting the tiebreaker.

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 Hunger Games: Catching Fire (3)
  • #2 - Frozen (3)
  • #3 - Thor: The Dark World (3)
  • #4 - The Best Man Holiday (3)
  • #5 - Homefront (3)
  • #10 - Gravity
  • Final Score: 15 points


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)

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