Ant-Man Hangs On to Top, Beats Pixels
Disney’s Ant-Man took in $24.91 million last weekend (July 24-26), which was good enough to lead the weekend box office for a second consecutive week. The Paul Rudd led superhero film from Marvel was down 56.5 percent from the previous weekend, but was able to remain in first place thanks in part to the disappointing debut of Pixels and the soft third weekend hold of Minions. Ant-Man surpassed the $100 million mark last weekend and has grossed a solid $106.22 million in 10 days. The film continues to perform in line with the lower end of pre-release expectations. Ant-Man is currently running 9 percent ahead of the $97.06 million 10-day take of 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which fell 57 percent in its second weekend to gross $22.14 million, and 9.5 percent behind the $117.42 million 10-day gross of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, which dropped 61 percent to gross $25.55 million.
Sony Pictures’ Pixels debuted in a very close second place with $24.01 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy was off to a disappointing start and even with scaled back expectations had been expected to lead the box office heading into the weekend. Ultimately the film’s high-profile retro video game concept and the high levels of buzz generated by its initial trailer weren’t enough to overcome poor reviews and Sandler’s declining popularity, but audiences are responding to the film better than critics have. On the brighter side of things, the production budget for Pixels was fairly modest by high-profile summer release standards and the film was off to a relatively stronger start overseas last weekend.
Minions wasn’t far behind with a third place take of $22.93 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated spin-off from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment was down 53.5 percent from the previous weekend. After a terrific opening weekend performance, Minions has displayed lackluster holding power due in part to mixed word of mouth, especially among adults, and to the massive initial rush out of the film’s fanbase during the film’s first week of release. With that said, Minions has grossed $262.45 million in 17 days. That places the film just ahead of the $258.57 million 17-day take of 2013’s Despicable Me 2, although it should be pointed out that Minions has an advantage in the comparison as a result of Despicable Me 2 opening on a Wednesday.
Fellow Universal release Trainwreck followed in fourth with $17.28 million. The critically acclaimed Amy Schumer led comedy from director Judd Apatow was down 43 percent from the previous weekend. The film’s hold last weekend does indicate that the rush out of Schumer’s fanbase has led to relatively more initial front-loading than usual for a film from Apatow; but the film is still likely to hold up much better going forward thanks to its strong word of mouth and reviews. Trainwreck has grossed a very promisig $61.53 million in 10 days.
The Weinstein Co. ‘s Southpaw rounded out the weekend’s top five with a $16.70 million debut. The Antoine Fuqua directed sports drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal opened slightly ahead of expectations and surprisingly ahead of Paper Towns in last weekend’s rankings. Despite mixed reviews, Southpaw was off to a nice start thanks in part to an effective marketing campaign that was aided by the film’s soundtrack and by focusing on Gyllenhaal’s buzzed about performance.
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox’s Paper Towns was off to a disappointing sixth place start with $12.65 million. The young adult adaptation starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne opened well below expectations. The goodwill from the success of last year’s The Fault in Our Stars, which like Paper Towns, was also adapted from a John Green novel, helped generate high levels of online buzz for Paper Towns in the weeks leading up to its release, but that buzz ultimately failed to transfer over to the box office. On top of the soft opening, Paper Towns was extremely front-loaded.
In other box office news, Universal’s Jurassic World moved into third place on the all-time unadjusted domestic list after a $7.18 million eighth place take last weekend. Jurassic World has grossed a massive $624.08 million in 45 days, which places it just ahead of the $623.36 million final domestic gross of 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers. 1997’s Titanic, with aid from its 2012 re-issue, claims second place on the all-time domestic list with a lifetime unadjusted gross of $658.67 million.
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Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.