After receiving a Donkey Kong-style pounding from critics, “Pixels,” the ‘80s video-game themed comedy starring Adam Sandler, was edged out at the box office on its opening weekend, failing to take the No. 1 spot from “Ant-Man,” which earned an estimated $24.8 million.
“Pixels,” released by Sony, took the No. 2 spot in its first weekend with approximately $24 million domestically, which was in-line with industry estimates. The animated “Minions” continued to perform strongly, coming in third with $22.1 million. The boxing drama “Southpaw” came in fifth on its opening weekend, though the R-rated movie was playing in fewer theaters.
In its two weekends of release, “Ant-Man” has earned an estimated $106.1 million at the domestic box office and $226.5 million worldwide. The Marvel super-hero movie, released by Disney, stars Paul Rudd as the insect-sized protagonist.
NEWSLETTER SIGN UP: Indie Focus is your field guide to only good movies
“Pixels” cost a little under $90 million to make, according to Sony. The movie, directed by Chris Columbus, fared better with audiences than critics, receiving a Cinemascore of “A” from people under 18.
“I think that’s the sweet spot for this film. I anticipate we will have a strong hold,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures. He also emphasized “Pixels’” appeal overseas: “It was always a world play for this film.” The movie took in about $25 million overseas over the weekend.
Sandler has had a tough go at the box office in recent years, with titles like “That’s My Boy” and “Jack and Jill” underperforming. The less-than-enthusiastic reception for “Pixels” doesn’t appear to have reversed that trend.
Overall, the domestic box office saw an estimated $148 million in ticket sales for the weekend, down about 4% from the same weekend last year, according to Rentrak.
Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” took the No. 4 spot with $17.3 million in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to $61.5 million.
“Southpaw,” starring a muscle-bound Jake Gyllenhaal, grossed an estimated $16.5 million. The Weinstein Co. said the drama cost around $25 million to make, factoring in tax credits from its shoot in Pennsylvania.
The Oscar hopeful movie received mixed reviews from critics but an “A” Cinemascore from audiences. Rap-star Eminem, who wrote new songs for the movie, gave the release a shot of publicity through social media.
“He helped expose the movie to a whole other audience,” said Erik Lomas, president of theatrical distribution and home entertainment at the Weinstein Co. He said the movie looks to have long theatrical legs based on strong word of mouth.
“I think we’re going for the rest of the summer and into the fall,” he said.
“Paper Towns,” 20th Century Fox’s young adult romance starring British model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne, took the No. 6 spot with about $12.5 million for its opening weekend. The movie fell short of last year’s “The Fault in Our Stars,” which was also an adaptation of a John Green novel and debuted at No. 1. Fox said “Paper Towns” was made for $13 million.
A survey from Rentrak showed that 71% of the audience for the film was female.
“Inside Out,” the Pixar animated movie, took in $7.4 million over the weekend while “Jurassic World” grossed $6.9 million to take the Nos. 7 and 8 spots, respectively.
“Mr. Holmes” continued to do strongly, rising to the No. 9 spot with $2.8 million. The Roadside Attractions and Miramax release, which stars Ian McKellen as the famous British detective, has expanded its modest theatrical footprint since opening last week in the U.S. to generally positive reviews.
“Terminator: Genisys” brought in $2.4 million for the weekend, lifting its domestic haul to $85.7 million. The Paramount release, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been viewed by many as an underperformer in the U.S. while seeing stronger results overseas.
“Terminator” has yet to open in China, where it is expected to do well based on Schwarzenegger’s continued appeal in Asian markets.
Among limited releases, Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man” expanded to 28 theaters in its second weekend, from five a week ago. The existential comedy-drama, from Sony Pictures Classics and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, took in $260,902 for an impressive per-screen average of $9,318.
The French movie “Samba” brought in $24,000 on just two screens for a per-screen take of $12,000. The movie is from the makers of the breakout hit “Les Intouchables” and stars Omar Sy as an immigrant worker in Paris who falls for a case worker, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg.
“Amy,” the well-reviewed documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse, broke past $5 million domestically in its fourth weekend in release.