Box Office Forecast: Pixelated Pac-Man up against Boxing Champion; Paper Towns

Its been a remarkable few weeks at the box office. We got everything we could have possibly imagined. Strippers? Check. Invincible robots? Check. Adorable Minions? Check. Found-footage tapes? Check. Another instance of Ryan Reynolds screwing up? Check. Judd Apatow? check. Ant-sized soldiers, with the always flamboyant Paul Rudd? Check. Foul mouthed teddy bears? Check. Scene-stealing dinosaurs? Check. Feelings with feelings? Check. Okay, not really everything.

Let’s add pixelated Pac-Mans, Smurfs, Donkey Kong and every video game from your childhood; John Greene’s next movie adaptation and a boxer seeking redemption to the mix. That’s how we keep the heat up during summer. Make things more intense.

Without further ado, lets look at each individual films, instead of concocting more lame ways on describing every film out there. Just as you came here for.

Pixels

PIXELS
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $44 MILLION
FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $170 MILLION END GROSS

Pixels, by Adam Sandler. That name alone will make you cringe. And how many times this summer must I see the Golden Gate Bridge destroyed? I saw it twice in Terminator: Genisys, once in San Andreas, and maybe some more. Okay, hope is salvaged, perhaps, if Chris Columbus can bring us something resembling the first two Harry Potter films more than that Percy Jackson film which we didn’t really love. Regardless, Adam Sandler or not, this film looks like it can grow into more of a hit than most of his recent offerings.

After Adam Sandler kinda failed to reconnect with moviegoers and critics after several failed ventures, it looks like Adam Sandler is going to go after an entirely different crowd- nope, he’s going after kids, probably due to their pure minds which haven’t seen the real Adam Sandler yet. That aside, it doesn’t look like any of his past works- he did appear in Hotel Translyvania, but he provided only his voice for that. Pixels is a full on nostalgia piece, one definitely going to bring in those video gamers who just can’t leave their games behind, and just have to see them translated on the big screen. I’m not talking about Uncharted, Grand Theft Auto or whatever comes into your mind. Instead, I’m talking about Pac-Man, Smurfs, Donkey Kong, Tetris, Spade Invaders, Centipede and stuff like that.

However, there will be intense competition, due to the double combo of Inside Out and Minions. We all remember what happened back in 2013, when Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University. They sort of had a lasting grip on the industry, enough so that several kids-friendly animated films after flopped, though that blame can be attributed towards an oversaturated market, since animated films were on tap to release every week or two during that season. It is, though, important to note that both these films these summer, combined, are expected to earn a larger sum. Add to that the fact that critics are crying about how bad a film this is, and it’s easy to see that this film’s future looks grim. It currently has a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and regardless whether critics already came in attempting to find loopholes, because Adam Sandler, you know things are bad when there are articles online calling those who gave Pixels a positive review a jerk, since that broke its perfect zero score. I’m not going to judge it anyways till I review it, so that’s that. Back to my point, there is lots to suggest this film won’t suffer as much as Turbo and the rest of the pack in summer 2013. As mentioned earlier, nostalgic filled people might catch up with this, and you know the power of nostalgia, just by looking at Jurassic World, though that group of people might reconsider their descent into the theater halls upon catching the reviews. Regardless, this film seems likely to be a sleeper hit, and I’m predicting $44 million for this film, though I won’t really be surprised if it underperforms real bad, with ‘only’ high 20s by the end of the weekend, though with an impressive cast with the likes of Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan, it looks like a fun escapade for the family to embrace.

Southpaw

SOUTHPAW
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $12 MILLION

FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $33 MILLION
I don’t know whether to believe whether this film was really catered towards Eminem, for he supposedly was the studio’s number 1 choice for lead before he downright rejected that offer. Regardless, Antoine Fuqua is back, after he brought his hit The Equalizer last fall, which opened to a massive $34.1 million. That had the backing of Denzel Washington as well, which was definitely a plus. However, Fuqua is going into the boxing genre with Jake Gyllenhaal, which is definitely recognizable, but I’m doubtful he has the star power Washington here holds. Having such a film launch right in the heart of summer is a really weird and oddball decision by Weinstein Company, especially with its nature of being a drama. Its gonna be targetting all the adult males out there who are into boxing, and we all know how huge that crowd is, as we can all remember how big an event the Pacquiao VS Mayweather fight was back in May. Reviews have been middling- it’s standing at 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. Trailers have all attempted to introduce Eminem’s brand new singles (Kings Never Die, Phenomenal)- seeing he’s executive producing this soundtrack, The Weinstein Company is definitly attempting to capitalise on his name. However, this hasn’t really worked out (at least for me), as it doesn’t suit the tone of the film, making this seem somewhat desperate. Regardless of these factors which might be working against this, its best to remember- it doesn’t have much competition standing in its way, with the most recent being Terminator: Genisys (other films simply don’t appeal towards this very demographic, at least those that are in wide release). Regardless, I don’t expect this to be big, but breakout potential might be there- I won’t be surprised if it hits $20 million. though I’m gonna be more conservative here, and say it earns maybe $12 million.

Paper Towns

PAPER TOWNS
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $31 MILLION
FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $85 MILLION

John Green. I don’t know how his books became so ‘in-demand’ of sorts, since they are all being made into films. It all began last year, when The Fault in our Stars opened to an astounding $48.0 million, due to the rush-out of female teens who craved his books. He’s returning again this year, with Paper Towns, a romance YA/teens mystery-drama of sorts, Maybe not so much romance, as the trailer showcases, as compared to something more lovey-dovey in nature like The Fault in our Stars. Buzz has been lagging noticaebly behind the former film, with facebook followers for this one at less than half of that of Fault in our Stars at the same point from release. Add to that stars which haven’t really had much of a mainstream presence as Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort of Divergent fame- this film stars Nate Wolff, who had a supporting role in the former film, and Cara Delevigne, who’s on the verge of a breakout, with Pan and Suicide Squad on tap, and one can easily see that star power isn’t with this film. Female teens, though, are still going to rush out this weekend, after a marketplace with hardly anything geared towards them. Don’t doubt John Green’s existing readerbase- he surprised previously, though its unlikely that this film is going to eplicate that success. It’s reviews on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment are at 67%, which aren’t fantastic but decent instead- regardless, teens aren’t as picky about their film choices, and this film should be mostly critic-proof.

Time to dissect the holdovers. Ant-Man’s first up. To talk about a Marvel film, we gotta compare it with a bunch of Marvel films. No kidding. The closest comparison would be Guardians of the Galaxy- the latter was Marvel’s only other original film in phase 2. Guardians of the Galaxy dipped 55.3%, but that was after it opened to an insane sum. Captain America: Winter Soldier dipped 56.6%. Avengers: Age of Ultron dipped 59.4%, but seeing that this film opened with a noticeably smaller amount of just shy of $60 million, I’m going to be bullish and predict this film is going to have the smallest opening weekend to second weekend dip for a Marvel film in quite some time. I’m going to say this dips around 50-53%, with me betting on the upper range (and better hold of course).

Meanwhile, for Trainwreck, it’s going to be hard to predict how word of mouth has built up over the week, or whether that anticipation has culminated last weekend after close to a month of pre-release screenings. Anyways, I’ll be looking at all of Judd Apatow’s past films, safe This is 40, since that’s a end of year affair, where the box office functions really differently. Her most recent film launched in summer, Funny People, dipped 64.8% on its second weekend, but looking back further, Knocked Up dipped only 36% after the biggest opening in her directorial career up to this day, while The 40-Year Old Virgin benefitted from excellent reviews, dipping only 24%.   However, taking into account a massive 28% caught the film over opening weekend due to Amy Schumer’s presence will certainly cause this to drop quite a bit. I’m going with 45%. Minions will be looking at having another massive drop again, maybe around 50% in its third frame, after Pixels enters the marketplace. The rest of the estimates, you can check out right below.

Unless something goes horribly wrong, I’m saying that Pixels will have an easy win this weekend. It’s going to be a close race for second between Paper Towns and Ant-Man, with the former having a strong potential to over perform, especially since early reviews have promised a ‘first-class’ experience which will sure give those The Fault in our Stars fans a hell of a time. Minions should settle outside of the top 3, with Southpaw and Trainwreck taking up the next two spots.

Here’s my top 10 for the weekend:
1)Pixels- $44 million (NEW!!!)
2)Paper Towns- $31 million (NEW!!!)
3)Ant-Man- $28 million (-51%)
4)Minions- $25.1 million (-49%)
5)Trainwreck- $16.6 million (-45%)
6)Southpaw- $12 million (NEW!!!)
7)Inside Out- $6.9 million (-40%)
8)Jurassic World- $6.6 million (-42%)
9)Terminator: Genisys-$2.6 million (-52%)
10)Magic Mike XXL- $2.4 million (-47%)
TOP 10 ESTIMATES: $175.2 million (+32.7%)

This weekend last year saw the massive surprise opening of Lucy with $43.9 million, which goes to show how much your presence in The Avengers can make you into a A-list star capable of bringing in the crowds. Of course, it might be due to people wanting to see Scarlett Johansson kicking ass yet again, and not in anything else. Hercules opened in second, with $29.8 million, showing that Dwayne Johnson is also a star in his own right. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dipped to $16.8 million over its third weekend, down 53.8% from its previous frame. With a much stronger crop of holdovers and an equally strong group of new openers, we are looking at yet another up weekend, and perhaps coming close to the accumulated gross last weekend. Let’s hope the good times at the box office lasts, though, as I’m wishing that early tracking is highly inaccurate, after reports that tracking for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation shows it underperforming. Yeah, that’s coming next week along with Vacation, so check back for my predictions next week!

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