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Box office preview: The Visit and Perfect Guy face off in tight race

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This summer had its fair share of broken records and blockbuster openings, but this year’s Labor Day marked a decidedly sleepy end to the summer box office race. Not only was it one of the slowest weekends of the summer, but it marked the worst four-day Labor Day weekend since 2004. This weekend, two new thrillers should breathe a little life into the box office, and while neither The Visit nor The Perfect Guy should reach summer blockbuster heights, they’re each eyeing a debut somewhere in the mid- to high-teens.

1. The Visit — $17 million

The Visit and Perfect Guy are each expected to earn a debut between $15 million and $17 million, so first place could really go to either. Most predictions, however, are giving the edge to The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan’s first feature since 2013’s After Earth. Although Shyamalan hasn’t had a critical hit in years, The Visit has been generating buzz since screening at Comic-Con, and its PG-13 rating could also help give it a broader audience.

2. The Perfect Guy — $16 million

The Visit is the current favorite to win the weekend, but there’s a chance that The Perfect Guy could end up on top. The thriller stars Sanaa Lathan as a woman who begins to question her relationship with a seemingly perfect stranger (Michael Ealy). Sony’s Screen Gems, which is distributing Perfect Guy, has scored No. 1 openings with similar thrillers in the past. Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington, opened to $15 million in September 2008, and No Good Deed, starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, debuted to $24.3 million in September 2014.

3. War Room — $7 million

The faith-based drama from brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick dethroned Straight Outta Compton to win the Labor Day weekend box office, earning $9.5 million over three days and $13.4 million over four. Distributed by Sony’s TriStar/Affirm label, War Room has targeted Christian leaders and generated positive word-of-mouth, and has racked up $29.8 million domestically as it enters its third weekend in theaters. This weekend, War Room is expected to make between $6 and $8 million, although it could see a steeper drop, thanks to the opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven, another faith-based film starring Kate Bosworth and Hayden Christensen. Heaven, however, is only opening in about 800 theaters, and it’s not expected to crack the top five.

4. Straight Outta Compton — $5 million

The highest-grossing musical biopic of all time just crossed $150 million at the domestic box office, and although Compton is starting to slow down, it should add another $5 million to its total this weekend.

5. A Walk In The Woods — $4.5 million

After opening last Wednesday, A Walk in the Woods exceeded expectations, earning $8.2 million over three days and $10.9 million over four. It even managed to slip past Straight Outta Compton to place second in the four-day box office race, although Compton secured second over the three-day period. The adaptation of Bill Bryson’s best-selling book, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, is eyeing a drop of about 45 percent in its second weekend, which should put it around $4.5 million.

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