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 The Magnificent Seven‘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 September 30 – October 2, 2016.
This weekend, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children opens in 3,522 theaters, Masterminds debuts in 3,042 locations, and Deepwater Horizon plays in more than 3,000 theaters.
#1 – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Our pick for the top spot this week is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the latest film from director Tim Burton. The auteur has had rough sledding since Alice in Wonderland hit it big back in 2010, with Dark Shadows ranking as his highest-grossing film in the last five years with just $79.7 million domestically. It’s clear that Burton has lost some of the appeal that he had earlier in his career, but the hope is that Miss Peregrine’s can be a return to form of sorts. It’s based on a bestselling series of books and the material seems tailor-made for Burton’s unique style. Comparisons to X-Men are aplenty, and the movie looks like it could be fun genre entertainment for the fall.
Unfortunately, Miss Peregrine‘s has received generally mixed early reviews ahead of its release, with some critics saying it’s an exercise of style over substance. That may hurt the film’s commercial prospects somewhat, but it should still find a sizable audience during a slow period at the box office. Projections have it pegged for a $30 million opening weekend, which is a solid debut. Nobody expected Miss Peregrine‘s to post Harry Potter or Hunger Games numbers, so this is a decent benchmark.
#2 – Deepwater Horizon
Coming in second should be Deepwater Horizon, a film based on the true story of the oil rig explosion from April 2010. The incident attracted much attention across the nation and became the worst environmental disaster in American history. It sees star Mark Wahlberg reunite with director Peter Berg. The two previously worked together on Lone Survivor, which brought in a strong $125 million during its theatrical run a couple years ago. Wahlberg in particular has been a capable draw in recent years, co-headlining last year’s comedy Daddy’s Home to the tune of $150.3 million while dealing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The pieces are in place for another hit here, with estimates pointing towards a $22.5 million debut. Deepwater Horizon has received a nice boost from the early word-of-mouth, as it’s receiving the best reviews by far of any of this week’s new wide releases. There are times when films drawing from real-life tragedies have trouble finding an audience, but Lionsgate should be pleased with their investment here. With the marketplace going through a lull with few well-received options to choose from, Deepwater Horizon could strike gold with adults looking for a solid drama.
#3 – The Magnificent Seven
Look for last week’s champ, The Magnificent Seven (read our review), to slide to third in its second weekend. Though the film came out on top during its first three days, the tally wasn’t as high as the studios had initially hoped. The Western remake came well below the early projections, making $34.7 million (instead of the expected $51 million). While no means a flop, it raises questions about how in-demand the latest from director Antoine Fuqua is. With some high-profile competition heading its way, Magnificent Seven could be hard-pressed to repeat.
#4 – Storks
Coming in fourth should be Storks (read our review), which finished in second last week with $21.3 million. For an animated film that garnered a positive response, those figures are a bit low, so the chances are it won’t have very strong legs at the box office. Given that it has a monopoly on its target demographic, Storks will be able to hang around the top five for at least another week, but it doesn’t have widespread audience appeal.
#5 – Sully
Rounding out the top five should be Sully (read our review). Clint Eastwood’s biopic has been one of the strongest performers in the early-going of the fall, and it should continue its success this weekend. Business is starting to slow down as more films open, but viewers have responded nicely to its inspirational story and great performance by Tom Hanks.
Last Week’s Recap
Next Week: The Birth of a Nation, The Girl on the Train, and more!!