Box Office Report: Pixels, Paper Town crashes; Southpaw surprises

Okay, looks like I got this whole weekend wrong- Paper Towns and Pixels were hardly anything to write home about, after the weekend grosses were finalized. Southpaw surprised to a certain degree, but that was mainly due to it surpassing some rather reserved expectations. Well, I guess that’s what happen when you try to be cocky.

Enough criticizing myself (sort of), and on to the box office in general- the whole industry was shocked upon hearing the news that both Paper Towns and Pixels underperformed. Pixels earnings might have been right within what Sony projects, but I guess we still believe that nostalgia is the key factor to carrying a film, after the behemoth in the form of Jurassic World arrived. Paper Towns, meanwhile, had fantastic early reviews, but I guess that dropped off rather quickly, now being rather lukewarm, and perhaps we were being too optimistic, with rather strong buzz on social media and it serving as a follow-up to The Fault in Our Stars.

Lets begin with Ant-Man, since it emerged first again after a bunch of underperformers tried catapulting themselves ahead of the race but failed anyways. It dipped 56.5%, within the same range as recent Marvel Studios properties. For comparison’s sake, Guardians of the Galaxy dipped 55.3%, Avengers: Age of Ultron dipped 59.4%, while Captain America: Winter Soldier dipped 56.6%. It’s difficult to predict holding power from this point out, since the first weekend to second weekend dip is usually attributed to front-loadedness, whereas word of mouth only comes in right after. It earned $24.9 million this weekend, and has earned $106.2 million to date. Since many say this opening is close to what The Incredible Hulk managed back in 2008, here’s some numbers for you- that film dipped 60.1% over its second frame for a gross of $22.1 million, so yeah, this film is in a much better state.

Okay, back to the new openings. Pixels was a relative disappointment. As mentioned above, hopes were relatively high and bullish, considering this one’s powered by nostalgia from all those arcade gamers out there, who still play or remember Pac-Man, Tetris and the like, as well as all the kids looking for yet another option to entertain itself. It was always expected to go beyond the typical range of Adam Sandler openings for that reason, but I guess people just went “there’s always that Shaun the Sheep movie, Underdogs film and Minions that’s already in or coming into a theater near me” after seeing the atrocious reviews, which mostly went “AVOID!!!”, just like how a bot is programmed to respond to any Adam Sandler film. Okay, analogies and jokes aside, here’s the numbers- it earned $24.0 million this weekend, despite receivng significant attention when marketing began. Overseas, a $25.4 million start from only 40% of its territories isn’t bad. Friday’s hold of the weekend was at 1:2.63, while the Cinemascore given by the mass public stands at B. Other demographics wise, 62% of moviegoers were under the age of 25, showing a significant family share. Males made up 55% of the aforementioned crowd, and 32% of tickets sold domestically were for 3D. I guess 3D isn’t having a resurgence, either. Or maybe it’s simply because Adam Sandler.

Then we move on to Paper Towns. Its debut is nothing short of disappointing, for its social media footprints showed it being really popular. I guess we can’t rely on social media to dictate how much a film will earn, then. Okay, regardless, it’s underperformance can be partially attributed to its lack of recognizable stars- The Fault in Our Stars had Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, while this film has Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff, the former who is a relative newbie to mainstream roles, but that isn’t for long, though- she has supporting roles in Pan and Suicide Squad coming up. This film grabbed only $12.5 million over its opening weekend, which if you’re wondering, was a whopping 74% below what The Fault in Our Stars managed back last year, with $48 million. With Friday taking up close to 50% of the weekend’s revenue, and middling reviews, it wouldn’t be shocking to state that this film probably won’t be seeing an incredible hold next weekend- word of mouth just isn’t on its side. On the demographics side, 71% of moviegoers wwre female, while 78% wereB+ cinemascore just

Southpaw was widely seen as an underdog entering the weekend. It’s propsects were never as bright as Pixel’s or Paper Towns’, and that makes it all the more surprising, when Southpaw earned $16.7 million this weekend. Eminem’s soundtrack and Antoine Fuqua’s presence here definitely proved a big deal. 50% of moviegoers were male, while 60% of moviegoers were under the age of 25. Unfortunately, it had to settle for 5th at the box office.

Minions dipped 53.5%, showing little signs of stabilizing, especially after an already huge drop-off last weekend. Minions might be suffering from somewhat bad reviews, but perhaps it was because of Pixel’s entrance into theaters this week- unless Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation proves to be a massive threat, it looks like this film will stabilize this weekend. It earned $22.9 million this weekend, for a $262.45 million cumulative gross.

Trainwreck, meanwhile, helped up well, dipping only 42.6%. That dip was indeed bigger than most of Judd Apatow’s films to date (films he directed, I mean), Knocked Up dipping only 36% while The 40-Year-Old Virgin dipped 24%.  However, due to the combined might of Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow’s star power, this film was always bound to have some front-loading. Add that to months of feverish anticipation on the heels of fantastic reviews, and here we get a somewhat more front-loaded opening weekend. Things will probably get better next week, or at the most, take a slight hit, when Trainwreck hits theaters and tries to go after the same crowd.

Before looking at the top 10, lets talk about the top 12- the top 12 this year was only up 1.0% from last year, when Lucy opened to $43.9 million and Hercules opened to $29.8 million, taking both first and second. That pales in comparison to the huge differences over the last few weekends, but don’t fret- the box office has already been having a record run in 2015, and even though things will definitely not improve next weekend (unless Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation and Vacation combines to earn $107 million, which is downright impossible unless over performance among the bunch), so we might be looking at our first down weekend for a while.  Truth be told, as I mentioned in our August 2015 Preview, last year was an exception, pulling in the biggest cumulative grosses August has seen ever, so I’m expecting more down-to-earth August numbers this time round, considering Fantastic Four is the only potential blockbuster the month will see. I guess summer has ended, after all.

Here’s the top 10, for your glancing over: (New films bolded)

Rank Last Week Rank Film Weekend Gross Change Total Gross Per-Theater Average Week
1 1 Ant-Man $24,909,332 -56.6% $106,219,861 $6,440 2
2 Pixels $24,011,616 $24,011,616 $6,450 1
3 2 Minions $22,933,960 -53.5% $262,454,370 $5,640 3
4 3 Trainwreck $17,281,950 -42.6% $61,526,975 $6,025 2
5 Southpaw $16,701,294 $16,701,294 $4,174 1
6 Paper Towns $12,650,140 $12,650,140 $2,729 1
7 4 Inside Out $7,414,528 -35.8% $320,393,339 $2,715 6
8 5 Jurassic World $7,181,175 -37.3% $624,083,950 $4,012 7
9 11 Mr. Holmes $2,752,132 +13.0% $6,456,773 $1,421 2
10 6 Terminator: Genisys $2,417,910 -55.2% $85,683,524 $1,304 4

Check back next weekend, when times will be more exciting yet again with Ethan Hunt back in Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation and Vacation.

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