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 Sinister 2'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 28 - 30, 2015.
This weekend, No Escape opens in 3,000 locations (on Wednesday), We Are Your Friends debuts in over 2,250 locations, and War Room plays in 1,100 theaters. In limited release, we have Memories of the Sword playing on 25 screens and The Second Mother, Turbo Kid, and Z for Zacharia all open on an unspecified number of theaters.
#1 - Straight Outta Compton
Once again, our pick for first is Straight Outta Compton (read our review). The N.W.A. biopic has become another major hit for Universal, bringing in $26.3 million during its second weekend and is now at $113.8 million domestically. It's managed to maintain strong legs during its brief theatrical run, and there's no reason to believe that won't continue. None of this week's new releases have a particularly high profile and Straight Outta of Compton is still riding the positive buzz from its critical and audience reception. It should be another profitable weekend for Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and company.
#2 - We Are Your Friends
Coming in second should be We Are Your Friends, the new music drama starring Zac Efron. The actor hasn't had the strongest box office track record throughout his career, but he did score a big hit last summer with Neighbors ($150.1 million). However, the success of that comedy could probably be attributed more Seth Rogen's popularity than Efron. Still, the former High School Musical lead was a big part of that marketing campaign and seemed to win over a new section of moviegoers with his more adult turn.
While that may help We Are Your Friends attract a niche of viewers, the "smaller" film may struggle to become a widespread smash. Early projections are pointing to an opening weekend of just $10 million, which isn't anything to really write home about. The saving grace for it is that there's so few options out there for moviegoers right now that people interested in seeing something might be inclined to check it out. That may help it reach near the top of the charts, but don't expect it to be a crossover sensation.
#3 - Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Our choice for third is Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (read our review). The action sequel keeps chugging along, holding well since it opened at the end of July. The movie made $11.4 million last weekend, so business is starting to slow down a bit. However, action fans looking for a fix are left with little choices outside of Ethan Hunt and his Impossible Mission Force. It should continue to draw in decent crowds and post some more healthy figures as we wind down the summer movie season.
#4 - Sinister 2
Our choice for fourth is Sinister 2 (read our review), which underperformed during its opening weekend with a measly $10.5 million. Horror films are typically front loaded, so the expectation here is that it's poised for a major drop-off in its second weekend. That may still be true, but we're definitely at a lull in the box office right now. There aren't many major movies playing right now, so Sinister 2's fall might be softer than similar titles in the past. Even with the bad buzz, horror fans may still be inclined to see it so they can get a quick scare. It's not going to turn things around and become a blockbuster, but it could still play well for another week.
#5 - No Escape
Rounding out the top five should be No Escape. The film has been very undermarketed, and few probably even know it's coming out. However, now's a better time than ever for The Weinstein Company to release this. With overall business very slow at the movies, there isn't much out there to overshadow a project of this stature. We don't expect it to be a big hit, but it should still make a decent amount.
Last Week's Recap
We were a little off. While we were right on Straight Outta Compton repeating, what followed was a mess. Hitman: Agent 47 managed to make fourth place (when we thought it wouldn't even make the top five), and American Ultra became a box office bomb. Sinister 2 also underperformed, coming in third when we felt it would be second. Here's to stronger picks this week.
Next Week: Straight Outta Compton, The Transporter Refueled, and more!