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 Gods of Egypt'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 March 4 - 6, 2016.
This weekend, Zootopia plays in 3,827 theaters, London Has Fallen debuts in 3,490 locations, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opens in 2,300 theaters. In limited release, Knight of Cups plays on 4 screens and The Other Side of the Door premieres in 500 theaters.
#1 - Zootopia
Coming in first and ending Deadpool's three week reign should be Zootopia. The film is the latest offering from Disney Animation, a studio that's been on a hot streak in recent years. As the success of mega hits like Frozen ($400.7 million) and Big Hero 6 ($222.5 million) have shown, the Mouse House doesn't always need Pixar to draw in large crowds. They're a brand that stands on their own with clout, and their momentum should continue with the release of Zootopia.
The film has been earning universal praise from critics, who are raving about everything from the characterization to the timely social commentary. A family film from Disney was always a sure thing to score high box office numbers, but the buzz its receiving is indicating that it's something special that shouldn't be missed. Kids and adults will be out in full force to check this one out, as several of the non-Deadpool newcomers in recent weeks have been underwhelming. Tracking indicates an opening weekend of around $71 million, which would be the highest debut for Walt Disney Animation Studios.
#2 - London Has Fallen
Our pick for second is the action sequel London Has Fallen, the followup to the 2013 film Olympus Has Fallen. Its predecessor was a modest hit at the box office, bringing in $98.9 million domestically during its run. With principal stars such as Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart returning for the second installment, the hope is that they have enough drawing power to bring viewers back for another high octane go-around, which the trailers are promising.
A downside for London Has Fallen is that Olympus wasn't exactly hailed as the next action classic, meaning that three years may be enough time to cool down enthusiasm for a sequel. In addition, early reviews for London are mostly negative, with critics panning it as a thinly plotted, generic genre film riddled with clichés. That doesn't sound entirely appealing to many casual moviegoers, but action junkies will probably be willing to check it out in the early going. It's projected to make $21 million in its first three days, which is considerably lower than how Olympus opened ($30.3 million).
#3 - Deadpool
Coming in third should be Deadpool (read our review). The film has had a great performance at the box office thus far, winning the past three weekends and raking in $292.6 million domestically as of this writing. However, it appears to have met its match in Zootopia's wide appeal, and London Has Fallen should steal some of Deadpool's R-rated action business. Nevertheless, the Merc With the Mouth will continue to be one of the industry's top earners for another weekend, capitalizing on the strong word-of-mouth.
#4 - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Our pick for fourth is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a war comedy starring Tina Fey. While the actress isn't one of the better box office locks, she does have a strong fan base that will come out and support her latest projects. In the midst of Star Wars: The Force Awakens hype, Fey's Sisters opened with $13.9 million and reached $86.9 million domestically by the end of its run. Something similar to that is the best case scenario, since Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is more of a niche film than something with wider appeal. Early projections have it pegged for $8.3 million in its opening weekend.
#5 - Gods of Egypt
Rounding out the top five should be Gods of Egypt (read our review). One of the first box office bombs of the year, the film only managed $14.1 million in its opening weekend, a turnout that inspired a livid tirade from director Alex Proyas. There's no chance that Gods of Egypt will turn things around, and it will begin to fade starting this weekend.
Last Week's Recap
- Triple 9
- Kung Fu Panda 3
- Gods of Egypt
- Eddie the Eagle
- Gods of Egypt
- Kung Fu Panda 3
- Triple 9
Next Week: 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Brothers Grimsby, and more!