Box Office: ‘Pixels,’ ‘Paper Towns’ Stall; ‘Southpaw’ Overperforms

26 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Holds Early Lead Over Adam Sandler, ‘Pixels’.

The sci-fi action film featuring the former “Saturday Night Live” star opened in second place this weekend in North American cinemas with sales of $24 million, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. “Ant-Man,” from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Studios, claimed first place in its second week, with $24.8 million.The new family-friendly Adam Sandler alien invasion comedy “Pixels” topped the box office on Friday, coming out ahead of other newcomers “Paper Towns” and “Southpaw.” Directed by Chris Columbus, “Pixels” materialized an estimated $9.2 million at the box office and earned a B grade from audiences via Cinemascore despite largely negative reviews from critics.The opening of Adam Sandler comedy “Pixels” is heading for a moderate $25 million opening weekend in the U.S., comfortably ahead of teen romance “Paper Towns,” but trailing superhero holdover “Ant-Man.” According to projections Friday, Disney and Marvel’s “Ant-Man” could notch its second first-place finish.

Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? Last week’s No. 1 movie, the Marvel superhero story “Ant-Man,” still looks like it will nudge past “Pixels” to take the top spot for a second weekend in a row. Moviepilot — which studies social data and box office trends — analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns are at their peak. “Pixels” mines a vein of classic video game nostalgia, starring perennial favorites like Pacman and Donkey Kong alongside Adam Sandler and Kevin James.

The film, directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd as the titular hero, pulled in an estimated $7.2 million on Friday. “Paper Towns,” an adaptation of the young adult novel by John Green and starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevigne, grossed an estimated $6.3 million on Friday. Sony’s “Pixels” is on track for roughly $10 million at 3,723 locations on its opening day, leaving it in line with recent projections in the mid-20s. Directed by Christopher Columbus, “Pixels” portrays an alien invasion of Earth by classic arcade game characters such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede and Space Invaders. “Pixels,” which has been savaged by critics, also stars Kevin James, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad. The pic has solid search numbers, coming in at around half the search volume of “Ant-Man,” which debuted last week while targeting a similar audience. Snapchatters like Emgarber and Chris Carm initially shared the trailer, and yesterday Carm devoted his Snapstory to taking his mother to see the movie!

Universal’s holdover “Minions” looked likely to finish in third with about $21 million — enough to push the animated comedy past $260 million by the end of the weekend. With 337,000 tweets, “Paper Towns” is outstripping “The Longest Ride” and “The Duff” from earlier this year — both movies generated around 80,000 tweets, and they opened to $13 million and $10.8 million, respectively. “Paper Towns” is unlikely to repeat the runaway success of the $48 million taken in by “The Fault in Our Stars,” but it does look set for an impressive $24 million opening. “Southpaw” stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a down-and-out boxer ready for a comeback. Insiders said it’s unclear if Thursday night’s tragic theater shootings in Louisiana during a “Trainwreck” screening would hold down business during the weekend. “All of us at Universal Pictures send our heartfelt sympathies to the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families in Louisiana,” the studio said in a statement.

Gyllenhaal’s last outing was the terrific “Nightcrawler,” which opened to $10 million but controversially didn’t garner an Oscar nom for its leading man. “Southpaw” is supported by an impressive wave of tweets and 20% more search volume than “Nightcrawler,” which should see it open around $12 million. Tobias Bauckhage (@tbauckhage) is co-founder and CEO of, a social-media-driven movie community reaching more than 29 million Facebook fans and 30 million monthly unique users. Based on community data, Moviepilot helps studios to optimize their social media campaigns, identifying, analyzing and activating the right audiences. Fan engagement measured by PTAT (People Talking About This) is a more precise but also a fickle indicator, heavily driven by content strategy and media spending.

We track all English-language original video content about the movie on YouTube, down to videos with 100 views, whether they are officially published by a studio or published unofficially by fans. We count all tweets over the period of the last seven days before release (Friday through Thursday) that include the movie’s title plus a number of search words, e.g. “movie” OR a list of movie-specific hashtags. Search is particularly significant for fan-driven franchises and family titles as parents look for information about films they may take their children to see.

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