With several strong holdovers and a pair of promising newbies, this weekend's box office could feature yet another close battle for the top.
On the surface, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's (NASDAQ:FOX) The Other Woman seems the obvious candidate as the only new film opening in more than 3,200 theaters. Fox's early tracking indicates the comedy -- which enjoys the relative novelty of putting Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton on the same screen for nearly two hours -- could help it secure a respectable first-weekend gross in the mid- to high-teens.
This might not seem particularly huge given the record-shattering $95 million we saw three weekends ago from Disney (NYSE:DIS) Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but would still be a solid start for The Other Woman given Fox's modest $40 million budget.
Speaking of Disney's latest comic book-inspired blockbuster, Winter Soldier is coming off its third consecutive box office win after racking up a hefty $25.6 million last weekend. Assuming a similar fourth-weekend drop as its comparable Marvel predecessors, Cap should end up adding somewhere between $11 million to $15 million in domestic sales come Monday. Any under-performance from The Other Woman, then, could mean another win for Disney, which has already seen Winter Soldier gross more than $603 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, let's not forget both Heaven Is for Real from Sony (NYSE:SNE) Pictures, and Rio 2 from Fox subsidiary Blue Sky Studios. In fact, when last weekend's initial estimates rolled in, it appeared as though Rio 2 held the edge over Sony's faith-based film by maintaining Fox's grip on the kid-friendly market.
When all was said and done, however, Heaven Is for Real won second place in its debut with $22.5 million, while Rio 2 trailed close behind with a perfectly acceptable $22.2 million. Depending on how well they hold up in their respective second and third weekends, both could easily tally another $12 million over the next three days.
That brings us to this weekend's wild cards in Lions Gate's (NYSE:LGF) The Quiet Ones and Relativity Media's Brick Mansions. Both would do well to hit $10 million by Monday -- a feat seeming more likely for the latter, which enters 2,647 theaters and notably is one of the final action films featuring the late Paul Walker before his tragic accident last November. Even with a relatively small number of theaters, however, The Quiet Ones could surprise for Lions Gate if it can effectively steal the horror spotlight from Relativity's Oculus, which opened to $12 million just two weeks ago.
In the end, I still think The Other Woman and Captain America will take the top two spots, but don't be shocked if any one of the above titles steals the show.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.