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Box office preview: Guardians reigns, King Arthur to battle Snatched for second

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Daniel Smith/ WARNER BROS; MARVEL; Justina Mintz/20th Century Fox

Major movie studios are turning up the heat at the summer movie box office, with a wealth of diverse titles in recent weeks. Two new wide releases enter the mix this Mother’s Day, with Fox’s mother-daughter buddy comedy Snatched likely to outpace Warner Bros.’ King Arthur: Legend of the Sword for the runner-up position behind juggernaut Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is poised to handily top the U.S. chart for the second week in a row.

Check out EW’s May 12-14 box office predictions below.

1: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $65 million 

Following their sky-high $146.5 million debut last weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s band of intergalactic superheroes only have one way to go: down. As most comic book tentpoles tend to do, the first Guardians flick shed 55 percent of its opening audience across its sophomore frame. With King Arthur and Snatched breathing down its next, the sequel should take a similar dive. Look for Vol. 2 to bag around $60 million-$70 million over its second go-round with North American moviegoers.

2: Snatched – $20 million

Writing and performative talents aside, it says a lot about Amy Schumer that her involvement in Fox’s mother-daughter buddy comedy Snatched coaxed screen veteran Goldie Hawn out of her hiatus from the big screen for the first time in 14 years. While audiences anticipated Hawn’s return to Hollywood, Snatched premiered to middling critical reaction earlier this week. Still, that doesn’t diminish either star’s ability to attract a crowd; however, the last time Schumer fronted a mainstream summer comedy (2015’s Trainwreck), she had good reviews and a healthy amount of pre-release buzz on her side, as the project set sail just as the third season of her popular Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, wound down.

Comedies tend to sprout sturdier legs in the summer than throughout the rest of the year (with the exception of holiday cash cows like Sisters, for example), and Snatched could benefit from a relatively dry comedic well in the weeks running up to its release. With Mother’s Day likely fueling the female-focused (yet still broadly appealing) concept’s ability to play with crowds, expect Snatched to run away with $15m million-$20 million at 3,501 theaters over the three-day period.

3: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – $19.5 million 

An expensive gamble (reportedly made for around $170 million), Warner Bros. enters the box office arena once again with its Guy Ritchie-directed reimagining of the classic King Arthur legend, which debuts at 3,600 locations this Friday. Despite negative critical reviews (reviewers have praised Hunnam’s take on the iconic character, but Ritchie’s hyper-stylized directorial style has rubbed film critics the wrong way this time around), the film boasts potentially broad appeal, with action-intensive trailers that capitalize on the film’s spectacular nature and the deliciously devilish performance from Jude Law, who plays the project’s antagonist.

Recent male-driven action epics that aren’t part of a larger franchise (like The Great Wall) have struggled to lift off with North American audiences, but they tend to do most of their business overseas; this will likely be the case with Arthur. The film opens in 51 international markets on Friday (including China). The Legend of Tarzan, which the studio unveiled last year, made $230 million from overseas ticket-buyers, and King Arthur could follow suit. A freshman outing in the $15 million-$21 million range in the U.S. and Canada is likely.

4: The Fate of the Furious – $4 million 

The eighth installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise could have hit the breaks two weeks ago and still called itself a monumental success. The pulse-pounding action flick keeps trucking, however, revving past the $1.1 billion mark worldwide as it heads into its fifth week in wide release. Series entries tend to be top-heavy, soaring high out of the gate and crashing in subsequent weeks, and F8 hasn’t bucked the trend of its forerunners, tumbling 61.1 percent from week one to week two in April. As King Arthur and Snatched siphon men and women from F8’s cross-demographic audience base, expect the film to plunge an additional 50 percent-60 percent this weekend.

5: The Boss Baby – $3.3 million 

Fox’s animated family flick is finally growing up and out of theaters after a healthy run, amassing nearly $160 million in North America after opening to an unexpectedly solid $50.2 six weeks ago. With $440 million earned worldwide to date, The Boss Baby has far surpassed modest expectations, not leaving the domestic top four since it bowed in March, though its impending tally will finally see it descend to the periphery of the chart’s top half.

Outside the top five, BH Tilt is releasing Lowriders in roughly 275 theaters. The film, which stars Demián Bichir, Eva Longoria, Melissa Benoist, and Gabriel Chavarria, is a tale of one Mexican-American teenager’s identity crisis as he navigates the treacherous tension brewing between his traditional father and criminal brother as they enter a lowrider car competition. According to the film’s director, Ricardo de Montreuil, the film tells a story that represents “the meaning of these cars within Mexican-American society, or community, in California.” Given the recent success of a film like How to Be a Latin Lover, expect Lowriders to perform moderately well during its first weekend in theaters.

Elsewhere, Doug Liman unleashes his latest action-thriller The Wall, starring John Cena and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as two soldiers trapped behind a slowly crumbling wall as a deadly enemy sniper takes aim at them from the other side. Storming approximately 500 theaters via Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios, look for The Wall to post a theater average anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000 through Sunday.

On the specialty front, Eleanor Coppola joins the family business with Paris Can Wait, her freshman feature as a director. The film stars Diane Lane as a neglected Hollywood producer’s (Alec Baldwin) wife who rediscovers a zest for life during a trip through the French countryside. Sony Classics is pushing the film to four theaters in limited release, and the mature set should turn out to give the 81-year-old filmmaker a healthy per-screen average in the days ahead.

Rama Burshtein is unveiling her latest project, The Wedding Plan — about a bride who puts her faith in God to find her a new mate shortly after her fiancé vacates on the eve of their nuptials. The movie looks to cash in on its recent successes at films festivals in Venice and Tribeca, where it received positive reviews.

Lastly, Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale team for Absolutely Anything, which finally makes its way stateside after premiering in the U.K. back in 2015. The movie also marks the late Robin Williams’ final performance; he voices Pegg’s dog, who has been given the ability to speak. The film, from Terry Jones (perhaps best known as a member of the famous Monty Python comedy collective), received poor reviews across the pond despite the robust roster of talent involved (even Kylie Minogue recorded an original song for the film’s soundtrack), and failed to make a splash at the international box office. Its prospects aren’t much better in the U.S.