Weekend Box Office: Game Over, Man! Game Over!

In a surprising upset, ‘Ant-Man’, the final installment to “Phase 2” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), retained the top spot at the box office and narrowly thwarted Adam Sandler’s new tentpole release. Despite Marvel’s win, like most other contenders, the picture took a week-over-week hit likely due to Thursday night’s fatal theater shooting in Louisiana.

Last weekend, ‘Ant-Man‘ debuted to less-than-Avengerly numbers, which was to be expected. But Marvel has been pleased with the success nonetheless. Despite taking a 56% hit in attendance, the film still managed to hold on to the #1 spot – but not by much. In fact, because it was only $765,000 ahead of the #2 flick, it’s very possible that the two could swap spots when the weekend actuals roll in this morning. After ten days, ‘Ant-Man’ has earned $106 million domestically and $120.4 million overseas. It still has yet to open in several big markets.

Estimated to own the weekend box office around the $30 million mark, Adam Sandler’s action-comedy ‘Pixels‘ became yet another box office disappointment for the star. Playing on nearly as many screens as ‘Ant-Man’, the picture opened to $24 million. The international numbers aren’t much better at $25.4 million. Fortunately (for Sony), the movie only cost $88 million to produce.

For the second week in a row, ‘Minions‘ took a hit, but is still well beyond the threshold of success. The film’s 55% descent in attendance resulted in a $22.1 million third week. After 17 days, the ‘Despicable Me’ spinoff has grossed $261.6 million domestically – but its success doesn’t stop stateside. Still the #1 movie internationally, ‘Minions’ has hauled in $497.8 million overseas, giving it a worldwide total of $759.4 million.

Universal had worried that Thursday night’s tragic Layfayette, Louisianna theater shooting during a showing of ‘Trainwreck‘ would hurt the Judd Apatow/Amy Schumer movie’s second week box office, but its 42% week-over-week decline wasn’t too bad. The $35 million R-rated comedy added $17.3 million to its domestic run, which now sits at $61.5 million.

Estimated to open to a mild $13 million, Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Southpaw‘ played stronger than expected. From nearly 2,800 locations, the $30 million boxing drama scored $16.5 million despite mixed reviews, and rounded out the Top 5.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was ‘Paper Towns‘. Predicted to open with $20 million, the YA adaptation kicked off its front-loaded first weekend on-track with a $6.3 million Friday, only to take massive day-after-day declines afterwards. Saturday and Sunday resulted in just $3.5 million and $2.7 million respectively, giving the film an extremely low $12.5 million domestic debut on 3,000 screens. Lucky for Fox, it only cost $12 million to produce, but this trend doesn’t bode well for any YA adaptations on the horizon.

Lionsgate’s limited 427-screen release of horror title ‘The Vatican Tapes‘ (which, surprisingly, isn’t a Found-Footage movie) didn’t go over too well. The freaky feature debuted to $850,000 and a per-screen average of $1,991.

Also in the news, ‘Jurassic World‘ continues to climb the ranks. Over its seventh week, the fourth ‘Jurassic Park’ flick surpassed 2012’s ‘The Avengers’ to become not only the third-highest-grossing domestic release of all time ($623.8 million), but also the third-highest-grossing worldwide release of all time ($1.541 billion). The only movies ahead of it in both spots are ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’.

Weekend estimates for Cobie Smulders’ ‘Unexpected’ have yet to be released.

Top 10:

1. ‘Ant-Man’ (Buena Vista) – $24,765,000

2. ‘Pixels’ (Sony) – $24,000,000

3. ‘Minions’ (Universal) – $22,100,000

4. ‘Trainwreck’ (Universal) – $17,300,000

5. ‘Southpaw’ (Weinstein) – $16,500,000

6. ‘Paper Towns’ (Fox) – $12,500,000

7. ‘Inside Out’ (Buena Vista) – $7,356,000

8. ‘Jurassic World’ (Universal) – $6,900,000

9. ‘Mr. Holmes’ (Roadside) – $2,849,000

10. ‘Terminator: Genisys’ (Paramount) – $2,400,000


    • EM

      I shouldn’t be surprised if the top three aren’t the top three for long, once a certain slumbering box-office force awakens.

      • Do you know why this new episode is shaping up to kill the box office? After all, both ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ never cracked 1 billion. They both made a lot of movie, but they didn’t break records.

  1. EM

    We’ll see what happens.

    I think William has hit a certain nail squarely on the head. Already from previews, Episode VII looks more like classic Star Wars than the prequel trilogy did. A new guiding force (no pun intended…this time) has the potential to rehabilitate the series. Abrams’ Star Trek demonstrated he has a better handle on Star Wars than he does on Star Trek (in keeping with a fandom background he admitted to).

    And I think box-office records of recent years have demonstrated it’s getting a little easier to set records. I would attribute that to an ever-growing global market, rising ticket prices in general, 3D upcharges to those ticket prices, and popular tastes that increasingly value effects spectacles.

    One more thing: as much as Lucasfilm has been a merchandising juggernaut, its new owner is even more so.

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