Ant-Man Scores Victory Over Pixels Meek Box Office While Paper Towns Underwhelms

Adam Sandler failed to rebound from recent box office misses this weekend, leading Ant-Man to gain a clear victory for this box office frame. Peyton Reeds Ant-Man film secured its second straight weekend at the top of the box office with a $24.7 million haul, becoming the tenth Marvel Cinematic Universe feature to be number one at the box office for more than one week. Its 56% second weekend dip is bigger than the 55% dip of Guardians of The Galaxy, but much better than the 60% drop of Captain America: The First Avenger, which was the last MCU film to premiere in mid-July. Its total haul though 10 days is $106 million, and should end up at $155-160 million by the end of its run.

Getting edged out by Ant-Man was Pixels, which only scrounged up $24 million in its opening weekend. That is a much better opening than its Thursday night numbers (only $1.5 million) seemed to indicate, and on only an $88 million budget, there’s no way this becomes a gigantic financial loss like The Lone Ranger or Sony/Columbias 2013 back-to-back blockbuster box office duds After Earth and White House Down. Still, this is one of the more disappointing openings of the summer, especially considering its uber-wide theater count (opening in over 3,723 theaters, the only 2015 film to have a lower opening weekend in over 3,500 locations is fellow Happy Madison production Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2), the fact that its Sony/Columbias only major blockbuster this summer and the bizarre statistic that Jack & Jill somehow had a bigger opening weekend (a $25 million debut) than Pixels despite not having the Digital 3D and IMAX 3D ticket prices that this newest Sandler movie had.

Long terms prospects also aren’t too good considering intense forthcoming competition and a B Cinemascore from audiences. It would be surprising if this one exceeded $65 million at the domestic box office, though it should fare better internationally, especially since this will be only the second Adam Sandler film (following Hotel Transylvania) to open in China.

Coming in at third place were those plucky Minions accumulating another $22 million, which is a sharp 55% decline from last weekend. Considering its tiny $74 million budget and the fact that it’ll gross $1 billion worldwide easily, Minions is in great shape, though it is surprising it’s fading so fast at the domestic box office. In fact, it’s looking very likely PIXARs non-sequel Inside Out will make more than Minions domestically. In fourth place was Trainwreck with a $17.2 million second weekend for a gross of $61.5 million. The film seems to be heading for a $105-110 million total gross.

Rounding out the top five was the surprise of the weekend, Southpaw, which debuted to a great $16.5 million. This uber cheap feature (it only cost $25 million) played as great counterprogramming against summer blockbusters and family fare and proves The Weinstein Company can launch a successful drama without having Quentin Tarantino directing. With an A Cinemasocre by its side, expect Southpaw to play very well throughout the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile, Paper Towns also surprised this weekend by coming in far below expectations with only $12.5 million, just over a quarter of the opening weekend of The Fault In Our Stars. No one expected Paper Towns to come close to the $48 million that movie earned last weekend, but to not get to at least $20 million in its opening weekend is disappointing. Blame this performance on lacking a major star (Nat Wolff is no Shailene Woodley, who was in The Descendants and Divergent prior to TFIOS) and a plot that wasn’t as compelling to non-fans of the book. At least its tiny $13 million budget means 20th Century Fox will see a profit on this one, though considering the meek summer the studios had (Spy got over $100 million, but Poltergeist underwhelmed) I can guarantee you they wanted more out of this motion picture.

Inside Out was at seventh place this weekend, with word-of-mouth continuing to drive the movie to only a 36% decline for a $7.3 million frame. The PIXAR endeavor has now made $320 million at the domestic box office and with no major family movie competition on the horizon should continue to be a potent force at the box office. Jurassic World made another $6.85 million this weekend, which was enough to get it to a $623.7 million haul. That puts the movie over The Avengers to become the third biggest motion picture ever at the domestic box office (unadjusted for inflation of course). An impressive feat for the film which just keeps on smashing any and all box office expectations

Mr. Holmes came in at ninth place this weekend thanks to a theater expansion that took it into 694 theaters, good enough to get into wide release. It looks like that was a smart move, as the film made $2.8 million over the weekend which translates into a solid $4,200 per theater average. That per theater average is actually better than the per theater average Paper Towns amassed this weekend, an impressive feat for the smaller film. Expect the theater count to expand further next weekend for this movie which has so far grossed $6.4 million. Meanwhile, The Vatican Tapes (a horror film starring Michael Pena and Djimon Hounsou) also opened this weekend in only 427 theaters and only making $850 thousand over the weekend for a weak $1900 per theater average. Fellow limited release Irrational Man did OK business is limited release, expanding to 29 locations for a $261,000 second weekend. Its second weekend per theater average ($9,321) is interestingly lower than the per theater average of Magic In The Moonlight in its second weekend, with that 2014 feature generating $11,396 per location in more than twice as many theaters.

The top 12 this weekend grossed $138 million, which about on par with this weekend last year when Lucy ruled the box office.