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Weekend Estimates: Ant-Man Defeats Poor Pixels

July 26th, 2015

Pixels

Three new wide releases and three returning movies that are still pulling in good crowds will produce a box office chart with no knock-out winner this weekend. That’s in large part thanks to a disappointing debut from Pixels. The Adam Sandler/Kevin James-comedy/adventure-Ghostbusters/wannabe will earn about $24 million this weekend, according to Sony’s Sunday estimate. That puts it in danger of not even earning back its marketing budget domestically, let alone starting to recover the $88 million production budget. It also means that Ant-Man will top the charts for a second weekend.

The Marvel adventure will pick up about $24.8 million, according to Disney, making for a very close finish at the top. Positions could yet be reversed when final numbers come in on Monday. In fact, there’s something of a pile-up at the top, with Minions headed for third place with an estimated $22 million. With a fairly large overlap in audiences between the three movies, one might call into question the wisdom of launching Pixels this particular weekend.

The two other new wide releases performed quite well. Southpaw will make a projected $16.5 million from 2,772 theaters for a very solid average of nearly $6,000. With solid reviews and a older-skewing demographic than the films above it, it should have a good run. Paper Towns is slightly more disappointing, with a $12.5 million projected debut from 3,031 venues. That’s considerably less than the $48 million debut posted by The Fault in Our Stars in June last year, although the movie is based on a less well-known novel. It compares favorably to the performance of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which opened in limited release and has earned $6.5 million to date, and also The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which also took the platform route on its way to $17.7 million in 2012. (See a comparison of all four movies here.)

In more limited release, horror flick The Vatican Tapes will earn a projected $850,00 from 427 theaters for a modest average a shade under $2,000. Reviews for the film have been poor, and Lionsgate evidently didn’t make a significant marketing push.

The best theater average this weekend is being enjoyed by Asia Releasing’s Pancake Man. We haven’t received official numbers, but the film looks to have averaged over $20,000 across 13 theaters for an impressive debut. Also topping a $10,000 theater average are Phoenix from IFC Films and Samba, distributed by Entertainment One.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Ant-Man, Pixels, Minions, The Vatican Tapes, Paper Towns, Samba, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Southpaw, Phoenix, Jian Bing Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kevin James, Adam Sandler