By Joey Nolfi
July 28, 2016 at 06:52 PM EDT
Jasin Boland; Niko Tavernise
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Three diverse offerings are set to invade North American movie theaters this weekend, including the high-octane actioner Jason Bourne, the female-fronted R-rated comedy Bad Moms, and the pulse-pounding thriller Nerve. The question remains: are audiences willing to meet them there?

With strong holdovers on the menu as well, moviegoers have a lot to choose from this weekend, though one title in particular seems poised to shine brighter than the rest as it prepares to snatch the box office crown from Star Trek Beyond.

Here’s how the Jul 29-31 weekend box office battle could play out:

1 – Jason Bourne – $50 million

Nine years after Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass last danced the Bourne-based tango, their highly-anticipated reunion debuts on North American movie screens this weekend, hoping to conjure the same box office magic as their previous efforts.

Damon, who sat the last Bourne film out (Jeremy Renner proved to be a bankable substitute), joins returning cast member Julia Stiles alongside franchise newcomers like Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel, and newly-minted Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander for a fifth installment in the popular line of films, which is based on a series of novels created by Robert Ludlum.

Among its predecessors, Jason Bourne carries the second-heftiest budget ($120 million) as it premieres on the highest number of screens (4,025) in the franchise’s history. Damon’s initial Bourne outings each built upon their forerunners’ weekend gross by a healthy amount, pulling in $27.1, $52.5, and $69.3 million respectively between 2002 and 2007. Renner’s film dipped to $38.1 million back in 2012, though Damon’s presence will surely call a decent portion of the audience back to the series.

Universal is releasing the film across the same weekend frame Paramount launched Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which opened to $55.5 million, last year. According to Deadline, the film’s tracking is on-par with the Tom Cruise vehicle, indicating an opening north of the $40 million mark as it opens day-and-date in 46 international territories, including Australia, Brazil, Korea, Spain and the U.K.

2 – Star Trek Beyond – $26.5 million

With Jason Bourne likely eating up a decent amount of its demographic, the third film in the rebooted Star Trek series could drop over 50 percent across its second weekend. Premiering to $59.3 million last week, Beyond notched the lowest opening gross for a Star Trek film since Nemesis debuted to $18.5 million in 2002. If such a significant tumble is in the cards for Beyond, it will have to pick up its pace on the international front, where it has thus far grossed $40 million for a worldwide total of $112.8 million against a massive $185 million budget.

3 – Bad Moms – $25 million

Eyeing a similar opening to Amy Schumer’s R-rated comedy Trainwreck, which opened with $30.1 million a little over one year ago, is STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms, a raunchy, female-driven laugher starring Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina Applegate, Annie Mumolo, and Kristen Bell.

Gunning for a broader audience at 3,215 theaters, however, STX indicates the film is tracking strongly with men in the 17-34 demo as well. Whether it sticks with women or appeals universally, the $20 million production serves as adequate (reviews have been decent, not great) counter-programming to action-intensive titles like Jason Bourne and Star Trek Beyond, offering an appealing alternative to a demographic that has gone relatively underserved on the comedy front (save for Ghostbusters) in recent weeks.

4 – The Secret Life of Pets – $16 million

With $333.7 million in global receipts thus far, the Illuminations/Universal comedy has laid the groundwork for yet another successful animated franchise for its parent studio. Heading into its fourth frame, the film shouldn’t shed too much weight as it remains the most prominent animated title in wide release, on-track to best newcomer Ice Age: Collision Course for the second weekend in a row after the latter’s lackluster $21.4 million debut last week.

5 – Ice Age: Collision Course – $10 million

As it opened to $21.4 million last weekend, Ice Age: Collision Course marked a series low, becoming the first Ice Age title to open with a weekend gross under $41 million across the franchise’s 14-year history. Though it pulled in decent numbers throughout the week ($2.4 million on Monday, $3.5 million on Tuesday), Collision Course, like other domestic underperformers in recent months, is relying almost entirely on its foreign grosses to make back its $105 million budget. So far, it has earned $183 million from international territories, bringing its worldwide haul to $210.3 million and counting.

As North American interest for the film wanes in the wake of better animated offerings (The Secret Life of Pets stands at 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while Collision Course flounders with 12 percent), the film should see a drop in excess of 50 percent from week one to week two.

Outside the top five, Lionsgate’s Nerve, starring Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, and Juliette Lewis, is looking at a Friday-Sunday gross of around $8.5-$9 million. Heading into a crowded weekend with a jump start on fellow newcomers Bad Moms and Jason Bourne, Nerve pulled in $3.75 million from 2,538 locations on Wednesday — a healthy boost for the thriller as it film heads for a five-day total in the $12-15 million range.

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  • PG-13
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