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Weekend Wrap-Up: Ant-Man Towers Over Pixels

July 28th, 2015


Ant-Man unexpectedly repeated on top of the weekend box office, as Pixels failed to meet expectations by a sizable margin. In fact, only Southpaw beat expectations. The overall box office sunk as a result, down 22% from last weekend to $151 million. Worse still, this was 2.3% lower than the same weekend last year. Fortunately, 2015 has won a lot more weeks than it has lost and has built up an impressive 8.2% lead over 2014 at $6.45 billion to $5.96 billion. It isn't impossible for 2015 to lose a lead that large, but I'm cautiously optimistic that it can see this lead grow through to the end of the year.

Ant-Man fell 56% during its sophomore stint to $24.91 million over the weekend for a total of $106.22 million after ten days of release. It is on pace to reach $150 million, putting it ahead of The Incredible Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. On the other hand, it likely won't catch up to Captain America, at least not domestically. As for profitability, by this time next week, the film will likely top its $130 million production budget domestically. It is also earning more internationally, so breaking even seems assured at this time.

Pixels only managed second place with $24.01 million. This is not the worst opening for an Adam Sandler movie, not even recently. That said, it is not a good start for a film that cost $90 million to make. The reviews are terrible with a Tomatometer score of under 20% positive, but again, this is far from his worst movie. Even his bad movies tend to have better than average legs, but even matching its production budget domestically will likely be out of the question and unless it is a surprisingly strong hit internationally, it won't break even. Sony is probably quite happy to ditch his contract, but Netflix might be sweating things a bit. Too many low-effort films and a sense of humor that isn't keeping pace with the times is really hurting Adam Sandler's drawing power.

Minions slipped a spot to third with $22.93 million over the weekend for a total of $262.45 million. It remains on pace for $300 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide.

Trainwreck came within a rounding error of expectations with $17.28 million over the weekend for a two-week total of $61.53 million. It if maintains this pace, then the film will likely finish with $100 million, or come so close that the studio will give it a little push to get over the top.

Southpaw managed to grab a spot in the top five with $16.70 million. Its reviews are below the overall positive level, but still the best of the three new releases, so its legs should be okay. It should have no trouble topping its $30 million production budget; in fact, it could get this as early as this coming weekend. On the other hand, until I see more international numbers, I'm not willing to bet on how profitable it will be.

Paper Towns missed the top five with $12.65 million over the weekend, which is less than half of what many were expecting. Additionally, its reviews sunk to just 56% positive. On the positive side, it only cost between $12 million and $13 million to make, so it will at least cover its production budget domestically. Even if it cost twice that to advertise, which is likely at least close to the actual number, profitability isn't out of reach. In fact, it could still earn more than $125 million worldwide, meaning it could break even before it reaches the home market.


Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Ant-Man, Pixels, Minions, Paper Towns, Trainwreck, Southpaw, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Adam Sandler