As the summer movie season starts winding down, one more superhero movie will vie for box office supremacy this weekend, as 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four takes on last weekend’s winner, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. Fantastic Four will also be facing Lionsgate’s Shaun the Sheep, STX’s The Gift and TriStar’s Ricki and the Flash, plus a few indies debuting in limited release. Fantastic Four should have no trouble taking the top spot, despite a rash of negative reviews.

Fantastic Four is expected to debut in the $40 million range, which will be more than enough to win at the box office, opening in 3,995 theaters. It certainly could debut much lower though, if movie goers respond more to the overwhelmingly negative movie reviews for this superhero reboot over the next three days. Fantastic Four currently has a paltry 10% “Rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but we’ll have to wait and see if audiences still show up in droves despite this harsh critical reception.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation will drop to second place in the high $20 million range, which should be just under a 50% drop for the action movie. The Gift is expected to debut in third place with just over $10 million, but it could be higher since the reviews have been exceptional. The thriller has scored an impressive 93% “Fresh” rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes, although an exact theater count was not given, so we’re not sure how many theaters it’s opening in. Newcomer Ricki and the Flash, opening in 1,603 theaters, and the comedy Vacation should round out the top five, in the $7 million to $8 million range.

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Rounding out the top 10 will be Ant-Man, Minions, Shaun the Sheep, Pixels and Trainwreck, all of which will likely be separated by less than $1 million, somewhere in the $5 million to $6 million range. Shaun the Sheep, which has an incredible 99% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, opens in 2,320 theaters, so given its positive reception, it may be able to climb a bit higher on the box office ladder. Opening in limited release this weekend is A24’s Gillian Flynn adaptation Dark Places (151 theaters), Sony Pictures Classics’ The Diary of a Teenage Girl (4 theaters) and Focus Features’ Cop Car (3 theaters).

Next weekend brings us Universal’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, Warner Bros.’ The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Weinstein Company’s Underdogs in wide release. Debuting in limited release are Mistress America and We Come as Friends. Be sure to check back on Friday for next week’s predictions, and again on Sunday for the box office estimates. Until then, check out our projected top 10.


1 Fantastic Four
2 Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
3 The Gift
4 Ricki and the Flash
5 Vacation
6 Ant-Man
7 Minions
8 Shaun the Sheep
9 Pixels
10 Trainwreck