‘Ant-Man’ wins box office for second straight week

27 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box office collections: ‘Ant-Man’ Tops Charts, ‘Pixels’ Opens to Lackluster $24 mn.

Adam Sandler sci-fi romp Pixels failed to rack up the weekend’s highest score on its debut at the US box office, pulling in a disappointing $24m to open in second place behind Marvel’s Ant-Man.Adam Sandler’s star appears to have dimmed significantly, after “Pixels,” a slice of arcade game nostalgia that recruited the likes of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to appear alongside the funnyman, opened to a disappointing $24 million at the domestic box office. Analysts suggest the weak return could spell “game over” for the Billy Madison comic as a major Hollywood player after a run of weakly performing films.

The critically derided comedy finished up just behind Disney and Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” which picked up first place and $24.8 million in its second weekend. That marks the weakest chart-topping performance since April 24 when “Furious 7,” then in its fourth week of release, bested all challengers with $17.8 million. Predictions that the $88m budget movie could be one of the year’s highest grossing now seem spectacularly far fetched and Sandler may be thankful that he recently signed a deal for streaming service Netflix to finance and release his next four films after 2014 rom com Blended, 2012’s That’s My Boy and 2011’s Jack and Jill all struggled at the box office. The weekend box office race unfolded in the shadow of a shocking act of violence after a gunman opened fire during a Thursday night screening of “Trainwreck” in Louisiana, killing two women and injuring nine people before turning the weapon on himself.

The superhero tale remains an underperformer in comparison to recent Marvel efforts, but a two-week global take of $226.4m worldwide against a shooting budget of just $130m suggests this will be another financial success for the Disney-owned studio. Of other new entries this week, the boxing drama Southpaw ($16.5m in fifth) surprisingly beat young adult drama Paper Towns ($12.5m in sixth) despite middling reviews. Among the weekend’s other new releases, Fox’s “Paper Towns” picked up $12.5 million from 3,031 locations, while The Weinstein Company’s “Southpaw” snagged $16.5 million from 2,772 theaters. “Paper Towns” missed analysts’ projections.

Antoine Fuqua’s film, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as a boxing champion who must fight his way back to the top after experiencing tragedy, also stars Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker and Naomie Harris. With a production budget of $12 million, it still stands to be profitable, but the results seemed to puzzle the studio, which thought it had a hit on its hands. “I’m really somewhat mystified,” said Chris Aronson, domestic distribution chief at Fox. “It’s something we’re going to have to look at and review on a post-mortem basis and find out why we didn’t get more people in.” “Southpaw,” an uplifting boxing drama with Jake Gyllenhaal, did better than expected, potentially setting the $25 million drama up for a healthy run with those moviegoers who have grown weary of dinosaurs and costumed heroes. Wolff plays a high school student roped into a series of revenge prank attacks by popular Margo (Delevingne) against the friends who have betrayed her.

The film’s star was front and center, doing interviews on everything from Fresh Air to Sports Center, while recounting the physical transformation he underwent to believably play a fighter. The top five was completed by animated blockbuster sequel Minions in third place, with another $22m in its third week on release for a north American total of $261.5m, and Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck in fourth, with $17.2m this time around for a two week total of $61.5m. In the case of “Pixels,” the Sony release cost $88 million to produce, a figure that is moderate by summer blockbuster standards, and the studio touted its overseas performance.

But analysts believe numbers for family-oriented films may have dipped somewhat on expectations with parents choosing to keep their children at home. Four years ago, he was perhaps the most consistent comedian in terms of box office performance, fielding hits like “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” “Grown Ups,” and “Just Go With It.” More recently, he has struggled mightily – headlining flops and duds like “Blended” and “That’s My Boy.” Only a sequel to “Grown Ups” and “Hotel Transylvania,” an animated film that only featured his voice, have worked. Holdovers, “Minions” and “Trainwreck,” picked up $22.1 million and $17.3 million, pushing their totals to $261.6 million and $61.5 million, respectively. In milestone news, “Jurassic World” has now blown past “Marvel’s The Avengers” on the domestic all-time list, becoming the third biggest film in history, when not adjusted for inflation, with $623.8 million.

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