By Devan Coggan
January 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection

The Boy, Dirty Grandpa, and The 5th Wave are all hitting theaters this weekend, but none of them will prove a match for last weekend’s champs: Ride Along 2 and The Revenant.

After dethroning Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, both The Revenant and Ride Along 2 are headed for another weekend at the top of the charts. While both are expected to land somewhere around $20 million, The Revenant might have the advantage: It fell only 20 percent in its second weekend, and it’s been riding a wave of positive buzz after snagging 12 Oscar nominations. If it continues to hold up well, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s survival drama could secure first place for the first time since it first went wide two weeks ago.

With The Revenant and Ride Along 2 competing for first, and The Force Awakens securely in third, it’s up to this weekend’s three new wide releases to jockey for a spot in the top five. All three new films — a diverse slate including a raunchy comedy, a horror flick, and a sci-fi drama — are expected to open in the high single digits/low double digits.

Here’s how this weekend’s box office race might play out:

1. The Revenant$19 million

Since opening in limited release on Christmas Day, The Revenant has racked up more than $101 million domestically, earning more than double what Birdman did (Iñárritu’s previously most successful film, with a $42.3 million domestic total). As mentioned above, The Revenant had a stellar second weekend, and even if it sees a steeper drop of about 40 percent this weekend, it’s still headed for its first first-place finish. 

2. Ride Along 2 — $18 million

The Ice Cube and Kevin Hart-starring sequel didn’t manage to match the success of the first Ride Along, which raked in $41.5 million over the three-day MLK weekend in 2014 and $48.6 million over four days. At the time, that was the biggest MLK debut ever, until Ride Along’s record was demolished by American Sniper the following year. This time around, Ride Along 2 debuted with $35.2 million over three days and $41 million over four.

The first Ride Along fell 49 percent in its second weekend, and if the sequel does the same, Ride Along 2 is looking at second place with about $18 million this weekend.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $14.5 million

The domestic champ finally relinquished its hold on the box office last weekend, falling to third place. Now entering its sixth weekend in theaters, The Force Awakens is expected to stay there, and a drop of about 45 percent would put it around $14.5 million. To date, The Force Awakens has raked in $863.1 million domestically and $1.89 billion worldwide.

4. The 5th Wave/The Boy/Dirty Grandpa — $11 million

With three new wide releases all neck-and-neck, fourth and fifth place are anyone’s game, and all three are expected to land somewhere between $9 and $12 million.

First up is Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro as the titular senior and Zac Efron as his straight-laced grandson. This time last year, Efron’s R-rated comedy That Awkward Moment pulled in $8.7 million in its debut, and Dirty Grandpa should perform slightly better, with a debut in the low double digits.

With The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey’s teen sci-fi novel is headed to the big screen, following Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) through a series of horrific events triggered by an alien invasion. Reviews haven’t been great, with a 22 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but The 5th Wave has already racked up $8.6 million worldwide from its international rollout last week.

Finally, there’s The Boy, William Brent Bell’s creepy thriller about a young nanny (The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan) who’s tasked with caring for a doll as if he were human. The Boy is expected to perform similarly to another PG-13-rated thriller that opened just two weeks ago: The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer, which debuted to $12.7 million.

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