NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Actuals: 'Ant-Man' Leads Again with $24.9M; 'Pixels' #2 with Lackluster $24.0M Start; 'Minions' #3 with $22.9M; Solid 'Southpaw' ($16.7M) Outpaces Soft 'Paper Towns' ($12.7M)
on July 27, 2015
By Daniel Garris
Disney's Ant-Man took in $24.91 million this weekend, which was good enough to lead the weekend box office for a second consecutive frame. The Paul Rudd led superhero film from Marvel was down a sharp 56.5 percent from last weekend, but was able to remain in first place this weekend thanks in part to the disappointing debut of Pixels and the soft third weekend hold of Minions. Ant-Man surpassed the $100 million mark this weekend and has grossed a solid $106.22 million in ten days. The film continues to perform in line with the lower end of pre-release expectations. Ant-Man is currently running 9 percent ahead of the $97.06 million ten-day take of 2008's The Incredible Hulk (which fell 57 percent in its second weekend to gross $22.14 million) and 9.5 percent behind the $117.42 million ten-day gross of 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger (which declined 61 percent to gross $25.55 million).
Sony's Pixels debuted in a very close second place with $24.01 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy was off to a disappointing start and even with scaled back expectations had been widely expected to lead the box office heading into the weekend. Ultimately the film's high-profile retro video game concept and the high levels of buzz generated by its initial trailer weren't enough to overcome poor critical reviews and Sandler's declining popularity. Pixels opened a lackluster 42 percent below the $41.51 million debut of 2013's Grown Ups 2. The film performed much more in line with the $23.76 million debut of the Kevin James led Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 earlier this year (James also stars in Pixels). That comparison is especially underwhelming given the added presence of Sandler, the film's retro video game characters (including PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong) and its advantage of higher priced 3D and IMAX admissions.
Pixels opened with $9.11 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.5 million from Thursday evening shows), declined 8 percent on Saturday to gross $8.42 million and fell 23 percent on Sunday to gross $6.48 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.63 to 1. Pixels received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore, which isn't a great sign, but does suggest that audiences are responding to the film better than critics have. On the brighter side of things the production budget for Pixels was fairly modest by high-profile summer release standards and the film was off to a relatively stronger start overseas this weekend.
Minions wasn't far behind with a third place take of $22.93 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated spin-off from Universal and Illumination Entertainment was down a sizable 53.5 percent from last weekend. After a terrific opening weekend performance, Minions has displayed lackluster holding power due in part to mixed word of mouth (especially among adults) and to the massive initial rush out of the film's fanbase during the film's first week of release. With that said, Minions has already grossed $262.45 million in 17 days. That places the film just ahead of the $258.57 million 17-day take of 2013's Despicable Me 2, though it should be reminded that Minions does have an advantage in the comparison as a result of Despicable Me 2 opening on a Wednesday.
Fellow Universal release Trainwreck followed in fourth with $17.28 million. The critically acclaimed Amy Schumer led comedy from director Judd Apatow was down a solid 43 percent from last weekend. The film's hold this weekend does indicate that the rush out of Schumer's fanbase has led to relatively more initial front-loading than usual for a film from Apatow; but the film is still highly likely to hold up much better going forward thanks to its strong word of mouth and critical reviews. Trainwreck has grossed a very promising $61.53 million in ten days. The film is currently running an impressive 42 percent ahead of the $43.34 million ten-day take of 2009's Julie & Julia (which fell 40 percent in its second weekend to gross $12.06 million) and 7 percent behind the $65.87 million ten-day gross of 2007's Knocked Up (which declined 36 percent to take in $19.64 million).
The Weinstein Company's Southpaw rounded out the weekend's top five with a $16.70 million debut. The Antoine Fuqua directed sports drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal opened slightly ahead of expectations and surprisingly ahead of Paper Towns in this weekend's rankings. Despite mixed critical reviews, Southpaw was off to a nice start this weekend thanks in part to an effective marketing campaign that was aided by the film's soundtrack and by focusing on Gyllenhaal's buzzed about performance. Southpaw opened 27 percent ahead of the $13.15 million debut of 2012's End of Watch and 9 percent behind the $18.32 million start of 2005's Cinderella Man.
Southpaw started out with $6.20 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.2 million from Thursday evening shows), fell 8 percent on Saturday to gross $5.70 million decreased a slim 16 percent on Sunday to gross $4.79 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.69 to 1. Southpaw received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which is a strong early sign for the film going forward.
Meanwhile, Fox's Paper Towns was off to a disappointing sixth place start with $12.65 million. The young adult adaptation starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne opened well below expectations. The goodwill from the success of last year's The Fault in Our Stars (which like Paper Towns, was also adapted from a John Green novel) helped generate high levels of online buzz for Paper Towns in the weeks leading up to its release, but that buzz ultimately failed to transfer over to the box office. In addition to opening 74 percent below the $48.00 million debut of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns opened 19 percent below the $15.68 million start of last year's If I Stay.
On top of the soft opening, Paper Towns was extremely front-loaded this weekend. The film was off to a respectable $6.33 million start on Friday (which included a significant $2.0 million from Thursday night shows), but fell a massive 44 percent on Saturday to gross $3.52 million and declined 20 percent on Sunday to take in $2.80 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of only 2.00 to 1, which obviously isn't a good sign going forward. Paper Towns did receive a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore and carried a reported produced budget of just $12 million.
In other box office news, Universal's Jurassic World moved into third place on the all-time unadjusted domestic list after a $7.18 million eighth place take this weekend. Jurassic World has grossed a massive $624.08 million in 45 days, which places it just ahead of the $623.36 million final domestic gross of 2012's Marvel's The Avengers. 1997's Titanic (with aid from its 2012 re-issue) claims second place on the all-time domestic list with a lifetime unadjusted gross of $658.67 million.