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 Ted 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 July 3 - 5, 2015.
This weekend, Magic Mike XXL debuts in over 3,350 locations and sci-fi (soft) reboot Terminator: Genisys opens in 3,600 theaters. In limited release, Amy, Cartel Land, Jackie & Ryan, and Jimmy's Hall all play on an unspecified number of screens.
#1 - Terminator: Genisys
Our pick for the top spot this weekend is Terminator: Genisys, a reboot of the classic sci-fi franchise. More so than Jurassic World was in the weeks leading up to its release, Alan Taylor's take on James Cameron's man vs. machine narrative has been a breeding ground for negativity, as the spoiler-filled marketing campaign has seemingly not done it any favors. Even with Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to his famous role and a supporting cast of respected actors (Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, etc.), audiences aren't showing much enthusiasm for the T-800 to be back.
That buzz is going to be a hard obstacle for it to overcome, and it may take a toll on its opening weekend numbers. Analysts currently have it pegged for a $32 million debut, which is below what the maligned Terminator: Salvation managed in its opening weekend in 2009. That's an alarming stat, especially considering the years of ticket price inflation and 3D surcharges. Even with the PG-13 rating opening Genisys up to a wider audience, it looks like Paramount will struggle to sell their product. Critics are already giving it a thrashing, so it's hard to see how moviegoers will be more responsive. It may win the weekend, but it won't be a "winner," per say.
#2 - Magic Mike XXL
Our pick for second is Magic Mike XXL, the sequel to Steven Soderbergh's male stripper dramedy from 2012. That film managed to surpass expectations and become a surprise box office hit, bringing in $113.7 million domestically ($39.1 of which came in its opening weekend). In the years since, the original has built up a passionate fan base that's eager to see Channing Tatum and friends reprise their roles for another crazy adventure. That's a fact the film's marketing campaign is well aware of, selling people on what brought them in the first time around (read: the eye candy).
But while the sequel (which Soderbergh did not return to direct) is expected to do fine on its own, there's some question as to how much widespread appeal this particular material has. That's not to say Magic Mike XXL will only bring in a niche segment of viewers, but certain demographics may be looking to other options for Fourth of July weekend. As such, this sequel is currently being projected to take in $29 million for the weekend, which is a significant decrease from what the first film did. If anything, early reviews have been positive, so that may sway things in its favor.
#3 - Inside Out
Our pick for third is Inside Out (read our review), which made an extra $52.2 million in its second weekend to finish in second. The film was neck-and-neck with Jurassic World last week and only just missed coming out on top, so it stands reason to believe it will be able to repeat that scenario this week. Whereas Jurassic World has to deal with the arrival of Terminator to contend for the big blockbuster business, Pixar's latest film still has the family market all to itself. With that in mind, it should perform more strongly when compared to the other holdovers and be able to leapfrog Jurassic for this week.
#4 - Jurassic World
After dominating the box office for the past three weeks, we expect Jurassic World (read our review) to fall to fourth in its fourth weekend. The sci-fi sequel has done phenomenal business so far, so this isn't anything bad. It's just that all reigns must come to an end eventually, and with some new high-profile releases coming out for a holiday weekend, this seems like the time for it to be knocked off the perch. Still, Universal has to be thrilled with the $506.8 million it's made domestically and anything it does this weekend is simply icing on the cake.
#5 - Ted 2
Rounding out the top five should be Ted 2 (read our review). Seth MacFarlane's sequel did OK business last week, opening with a modest $33.5 million. When compared to the 2012 original, neither the critical nor audience response has been as enthusiastic, so this film is probably going to have a short-lived time in at the top of the charts. Comedy fans will continue to come out and support it, but the masses aren't as interested.
Last Week's Recap
We correctly picked all five spots.
Next Week: Minions, Self/Less and more!