Box-Office Preview: YA Tearjerker 'If I Stay' to Top 'Sin City' Sequel

If I Stay
Warner Bros.

Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, "If I Stay" should earn $18 million to $19 million, while Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's sequel is tracking for a mid-teens debut

YA adaptation If I Stay, about a teenage girl whose family is killed in a car accident, opens at the North American box office this weekend, hoping to lure the same tissue-toting teen girl audience that turned out in force for tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars earlier this summer.

The film will likely top the weekend with an $18 million to $19 million debut, coming out ahead of this weekend's other newcomer Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's sequel is on pace to earn around $15 million in its North American debut.

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in If I Stay, the adaptation of Gayle Forman's YA novel about a 17-year-old girl who, along with her family, is involved in a terrible car accident. Stuck in a coma in the hospital, Moretz floats between life and death, and must decide if she'll fight to live and stay with her boyfriend, or join her family in death.

If I Stay hits theaters just two months after the adaptation of John Green's cancer teen drama exceeded expectations to earn an outstanding $48 million on its June opening weekend.

But many films directed at the teen YA audience haven't had the same happy ending as Fault. Adaptations like Beautiful Creatures and Mortal Instruments both suffered at the box office when teens didn't turn out to support the films.

MGM and New Line co-produced and co-financed the $11 million film. New Line parent company Warner Bros. is releasing the PG-13 film, which serves as R.J. Cutler's feature film directorial debut, in 2,902 locations. 

Miller and Rodriguez's sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens nine years after Sin City hit theaters. The sequel, based on Miller's second book in the Sin City series, features plenty of big names, including returning castmembers Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis and newcomers Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin and Ray Liotta.

Dimension Films and The Weinstein Co. are releasing the R-rated sequel, which is produced by Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions, Aldamisa, AR Films, Miramax and Solipsist, in 2,894 locations this weekend.

The sequel's tracking shows that it won't hit the same big numbers as the first Sin City, which cost $40 million and opened in April 2005 to a debut of $29.1 million. It went on to earn $158.8 million worldwide.

The third new wide release this weekend is the based-on-a-true-story football drama When the Game Stands Tall, which looks likely to earn $8 million to $10 million in its debut.

Opening in 2,670 locations, the $15 million TriStar Pictures film stars Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis and Alexander Ludwig, and is based on Northern California high school De La Salle's 151-game winning streak, and what happened after the team finally lost.

In addition to marketing the film to families and teenage boys, Sony has also done outreach to religious audiences, which may be interested in the inspirational sports drama, especially because De La Salle is a Catholic high school.

All three films will go up against tentpole holdovers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy, now in their third and fourth weeks, respectively.