Box Office Prediction: Suicide Squad vs. Ben-Hur

Our box office predictions for the weekend of August 19 - 21, where Suicide Squad faces the Ben-Hur remake.

Box Office Suicide Squad Ben-Hur

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 Sausage Party'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 19 - 21, 2016.

This weekend, Ben-Hur opens in 3,100 theaters, War Dogs plays in 3,100+ locations, and Kubo and the Two Strings debuts in 3,260 theaters.

#1 - Suicide Squad

Once again, our choice for the top spot is Suicide Squad (read our review), which has won the last two weekends. The latest installment in the DC Extended Universe has been a rare commercial smash this summer, but it did take a massive 67 percent drop during its second week, indicating that the mixed word-of-mouth is catching up to the movie. Still, the middle of August typically represents the dog days of the box office, with new arrivals entering theaters with limited fan fare. This time of year, very little generates buzz, and Suicide Squad is still the blockbuster of choice for many viewers. With none of this weekend's releases tracking all that high, David Ayer's film should be able to pull off the three-peat.

Boomerang and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

#2 - War Dogs

Coming in second should be War Dogs, the new film from director Todd Phillips. The filmmaker made a name for himself by delivering the commercially successful Hangover trilogy, a fact the War Dogs marketing has frequently reminded viewers. His brand of comedy definitely has an appeal for audiences, as his works like Due Date ($100 million) and Old School ($75.5 million) were successful as well. In addition, War Dogs is headlined by two recognizable names - Miles Teller and Jonah Hill. The latter of that duo has long been at the forefront of this genre and has a number of hits under his belt.

War Dogs should also benefit from the early reviews, which have been mostly positive, with most critics saying that it's an entertaining ride strengthened by compelling performances (despite the troubling subject matter). Fans of R-rated comedies aren't without their options, but War Dogs has enough pieces to be a winner, and it most likely will have a fruitful debut. Projections have it pegged for a $16 million opening.

#3 - Sausage Party

Our pick for third is Sausage Party (read our review). The R-rated animated flick did great business over its first three days last week, grossing $34.2 million. Thanks to the positive reception and unique premise, the film has given adult moviegoers something to check out at the tail end of the summer, and there's no reason to believe that it will fall off anytime soon. Even with War Dogs premiering, Sausage Party should have decent legs in its second weekend and continue to post healthy numbers.

Sausage Party (2016) box office opening

#4 - Kubo and the Two Strings

Coming in fourth should be Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest film from Laika Animation. The studio is very consistent in terms of delivering well-received films from a critical perspective (and Kubo is no different), but they do not rival Pixar or DreamWorks in the realm of box office prowess. Their highest-grossing film of all-time is Coraline with $75.2 million, and their biggest opening weekend is the $17.2 million posted by The Boxtrolls in 2014. Laika's fan base will be interested in seeing Kubo, but it may not be able to break out of that relative niche. Tracking indicates an opening weekend in the $15 million range, even though Kubo has a star-studded voice cast that includes Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron.

#5 - Ben-Hur

Rounding out the top five should be Ben-Hur, the remake of the classic Oscar winning film. It's been a summer full of commercial disappointments, and Ben-Hur could be the worst one yet. Despite being our "challenger" in the headline, the film is not expected to do well at the box office. The projections are set at just $13 million, a disaster considering the movie's $100 million production budget. Faith-based films have done well in the past, but Ben-Hur seems like it will be an exception to the rule. Early reviews have been mostly negative, and there's little interest amongst casual moviegoers. The odds are stacked against this one, and it's unlikely to have a strong debut.

Last Week's Recap

Our Predictions:

  1. Suicide Squad
  2. Pete's Dragon
  3. Sausage Party
  4. Jason Bourne
  5. The Secret Life of Pets


  1. Suicide Squad
  2. Sausage Party
  3. Pete's Dragon
  4. Jason Bourne
  5. Bad Moms


Next Week: Don't Breathe, The Mechanic: Resurrection, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office Opening Weekend Projections)

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