Box Office Preview: 'Hobbs & Shaw' to Drench 'Racing in the Rain,' 'Dora,' 'The Kitchen'

Courtesy of Paramount Players; 20th Century Fox; Alison Cohen Rosa/Warner Bros.; CBS Films
From left: 'Dora and the Lost City of Gold, ' 'The Art of Racing in the Rain,' 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,' 'The Kitchen'

The August marquee will get mighty crowded this weekend as five new films open nationwide.

The dog days of August have arrived at the box office — literally.

Fox 2000 and Disney's The Art of Racing in the Rain, a drama about a canine voiced by Kevin Costner, is one of five new movies opening nationwide against Universal holdover Hobbs & Shaw.

A spinoff of the octane-loaded Fast & Furious franchise, Hobbs & Shaw should have no trouble staying atop the chart with $28 million or more after opening to $60 million last weekend in North America. (Holdovers The Lion King and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood could also pose formidable competition.)

Among the new offerings, Racing in the Rain and Paramount's Dora and the Lost City of Gold, an adaptation of the beloved books and kids TV series, will vie for family love (both are rated PG). Dora is expected to earn $15 million to $19 million in its domestic launch; Racing in the Rain's bite is eyeing a more subdued $8 million-plus.

The other new entries are Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a haunted thriller from CBS Films via Lionsgate that could entice teens and tweens; Warner Bros. and New Line's femme-fronted, star-packed mob pic The Kitchen; and Bleecker Street's sports drama Brian Banks, which hopes to lure the faith-based crowd along with families.

Scary Stories — adapted from the the best-selling children's horror book series — may be the only one of the five new titles that overperforms with a debut of $18 million to $20 million. It is rated PG-13.

Despite its high-profile cast, The Kitchen is looking to start off with a subdued $9 million or less after getting burned by critics (its current score on Rotten Tomatoes is a dismal 17 percent). The R-rated pic stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as mob wives in late-1970s New York who take matters into their own hands after their husbands are jailed.

Brian Banks, based on the real-life story of an all-American teenage football player falsely accused of sexual misconduct, is projected to bow in the $3 million-$4 million range for indie distributor Bleecker Street.

Dora currently boasts the best Rotten Tomatoes score (79 percent) of the new pics, followed by Racing in the Rain (64 percent), Brian Banks (53 percent) and The Kitchen (17 percent). Scary Stories reviews weren't posted as of Wednesday.