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 Suicide Squad'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 12 - 14, 2016.
This weekend, Pete's Dragon opens in 3,400 theaters, Sausage Party debuts in 2,800 locations, and Florence Foster Jenkins plays in 1,500 theaters.
#1 - Suicide Squad
Coming in first should be last week's champ Suicide Squad (read our review), which set a new August record last week with $133.6 million despite the mixed reviews. Interest in seeing the film remains high, and given that it doesn't have much in the way of competition now (as summer's last big tentpole), Suicide Squad should continue to do solid business. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the negative response will have on the film's legs, but it's hard to envision a scenario where it doesn't repeat in the #1 spot. The debut was extremely high, and even if Suicide Squad takes a major hit, none of the new releases are tracking high enough to beat it.
#2 - Pete's Dragon
Our choice for second is Pete's Dragon, a remake of the 1977 musical. Disney has had plenty of success bringing back titles from their vault for a new audience, as the totals for Cinderella ($201.1 million) and Maleficent ($241.4 million) indicate. Not to mention, earlier this year The Jungle Book became a huge success with $362.7 million domestically. The Mouse House has had one of the most fruitful years of all-time at the box office, and with Pete's Dragon earning positive reviews ahead of its release, that should generate more interest in seeing it on the big screen.
However, it should be noted that Pete's Dragon is not generating as much buzz and is entering theaters with relatively little fan fare. Part of this might have to do with the fact that it's not as well-known a film as some of these other Disney remakes, meaning the demand may not be there. Families haven't had much to choose from since The Secret Life of Pets, so the movie should perform well with that demographic, but it's unlikely to become a true mainstream hit. Projections have it pegged for an opening weekend of around $31 million.
#3 - Sausage Party
Coming in third should be Sausage Party, the R-rated animated film starring Seth Rogen and an assortment of Hollywood A-listers. The film has made several headlines due to its absurd premise (anthropomorphized food fight for their lives after they're bought at a grocery store), taking the traditional Pixar formula and spinning it on its head. The trailers and other marketing have been well-received by moviegoers, and early reviews have been mostly positive. In a summer that had many poorly-received films, an original concept with strong word-of-mouth is just what the doctor ordered. On that front, Sausage Party should be fine.
There are some factors that might prevent it from soaring too high on the charts. Obviously, the R-rating is going to limit the audience somewhat, and animated flicks that target adults don't always do well at the box office (see: South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut). Additionally, Rogen is going through a bit of a commercial cold streak. His last bona fide hit was the first Neighbors, which made $150.1 million in 2014. An argument can be made that his star power is declining. Still, Sausage Party is expected to bring in $30 million over the weekend, which is higher than Neighbors 2 earlier this year.
#4 - Jason Bourne
Our pick for fourth is Jason Bourne (read our review), which came in second last week with $22.4 million. That was a startling 62.2 percent drop from its opening weekend, which obviously had something to do with the arrival of Suicide Squad. While action fans will still want to check out Matt Damon in his famous role, it seems like general audiences have mostly moved on from the sequel. The film has made nearly $200 million worldwide during its run, so it's a commercial success, but business is going to start to go down.
#5 - The Secret Life of Pets
Rounding out the top five should be The Secret Life of Pets (read our review). The animated film continues to hang around the top of the charts, and even with Pete's Dragon taking away some family dollars, it should continue to post solid numbers.
Last Week's Recap
We predicted that Suicide Squad would not top the opening weekend of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. That was correct, as Suicide Squad brought in $133.6 million during its first three days.
Next Week: Ben-Hur, Kubo and the Two Strings, War Dogs, and more!