4TH UPDATE, Final post 9:51AM after 8:25 AM: Disney Marvel’s Ant-Man showed Adam Sandler’s Pixels who had the real superpower this weekend, raking in an estimated $24.77M ($24.66M per industry estimates) to the Sony title’s $24M (industry is figuring a $23.7M bow). The industry predicted Pixels would trickle to second on Friday night: Ant-Man was bound to reap the spoils of Saturday matinees, not Pixels. The Marvel film spiked 36% on Saturday with approximately $9.8M over its second $7.2M Friday, while Pixels slipped 8% from its $9.2M Friday with $8.45M. Ant-Man‘s -57% second weekend decline is a bit better than the holds for Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger’s which posted -60% second frame drops.
While Pixels had the advantage of being the new kid on the block Friday, Ant-Man continued to post solid results into Saturday night. For Disney, if Ant-Man delivers a final global cume of $500M, that makes it a strong Marvel property, besting the global hauls of Captain America: The First Avenger ($370.6M) and Thor ($449.3M). Ant-Man with a current worldwide cume of $226M worldwide is already close to conquering The Incredible Hulk ($263.4M).
Despite Pixels’ B CinemaScore, it earned an A with the under 18 crowd. That’s a good sign considering that 62% of those who showed up were under 25. Typically studios will boast an A CinemaScore for a demo that didn’t show up on opening weekend. In those situations, word of mouth won’t necessarily work since the pleased demographic didn’t show up in the first place. That wasn’t the case here. 55% of Pixels’ crowd were guys. 32% of tickets sales came from 3D showtimes. $24M isn’t a fantastic opening for a Sandler summer film, but in all fairness, Sony was always expecting a low- to mid-$20M opening and that’s where the comedian’s family fare has bowed (read Bedtime Stories, $27.45M, and Jack and Jill, $25M). Industry projections had Pixels with a $30M-$40M FSS, the anticipation being that it’s an effects-driven sci-fi film. Sandler’s adult fare, particularly when it co-stars Saturday Night Live alums (i.e. Grown Ups, Longest Yard) bows north of $40M. Sony expects Pixels stateside to sleep to a better multiple than Jack and Jill (which was close to 3x with $74M). Nonetheless, back to the drawing room in terms of Sandler trying to reinvent himself. The net production cost of Pixels is a reported $88M with co-financing coming from LStar and China Film Group. Nancy Tartaglione will expound later on where Sandler hit high scores abroad.
Universal strong armed spots 3 and 4 away from the other new competition with Illumination Entertainment’s Minions taking $22.05M with a third weekend total cume of $261.6M and Trainwreck dipping 43% in its sophomore sesh with $17.28M and a 10-day cume of $61.5M.
Weinstein Co. is over the moon with the results of Antoine Fuqua’s boxing film Southpaw, which came in right about where they were expecting with $16.5M at 2,772. Those are amazing results considering that Southpaw cost a net $25M after Pennsylvania tax credits (original cost was $30M). Southpaw drew an even 50/50 male-to-female crowd. Early test screenings indicated that females would take to the pic. 60% of the crowd was under 35. TWC remains very hopeful about the film’s prospects in the wake of its A CinemaScore. The film in a second set of exit polls earned an 89 with a 77% definite recommend, syncing with early test poll results. “That’s as good as any Weinstein Co. awards contending film,” beamed TWC distribution chief Erik Lomis, “Antoine Fuqua shot a great film and Jake Gyllenhaal is magnificent in it.”
Giving Southpaw a big boost was A-list rapper Eminem who was behind the pic’s soundtrack, and pushed the film across his social media. He wrote all the songs and performed the end credits tune “Kings Never Die” with Gwen Stefani. TWC also held tastemaker screenings with the boxing and sporting community; one of the biggest spots for Southpaw they bought preceded May’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. 24% of those watching Southpaw were Latino with African Americans repping 21% of all ticket buyers.
20th Century Fox’s teen girl drama Paper Towns wound up coming in below the mid-to-high teens projections it was forecasting with $12.5M at 3,031; this is after a decent start on Thursday night which saw $2M in previews — the most from the new crop of films. Among John Green adaptations at the B.O., Paper Towns earned a B+ CinemaScore, which is lower than the A earned by The Fault In Our Stars. Paper Towns also earned 4 1/2 stars on PostTrak with teens scoring it at 81% (excellent/very good). Paper Towns fell 24% Saturday after its $6.3M Friday. Counting overseas of $16M, Paper Towns global bow stands at $28.5M which far surpasses its $13M estimated production cost. Fox didn’t get as much of the narrow teenage girl crowd this weekend stateside, and needs to hook them in the summer days to come.
Could Paper Towns have posted a bigger opening with a name star like Fault‘s Shailene Woodley? Heck, yes. But the project was never intended to draw a large audience like Fault. Among John Green’s lit, Fault‘s themes of losing a significant other cut across age and gender barriers. Paper Towns is a very different property. It’s a coming-of-age road trip story. 71% of the audience were females, of course, with 78% under 25.
Meanwhile, Universal’s Jurassic World‘s total cume today of $623.8M officially makes it the third highest film at the domestic B.O behind Avatar ($760.5M) and Titanic ($658.7M), flying past Avengers‘ stateside B.O. of $623.4M. Worldwide, JW is already the third highest on the global charts with $1.542B.
Also, raise a glass of whiskey to Mr. Holmes: Roadside Attractions/Miramax’s Sherlock Holmes update broke and stayed in the top 10 throughout this weekend with $2.8M, +15% over its opening frame. Its current 10-day estimated cume is at $6.4M thanks to an expansion into another 325 venues.
The top 10 films per studio estimates for the weekend of July 24-26:
1). Ant-Man (DIS), 3,868 theaters (+12) / $7.2M Fri./$9.85M Sat (+37%)/$7.7M Sun (-22%)/ 3-day cume: $24.77M (-57%)/Total cume: $106.1M/Wk 2
Industry 3-day estimate: $24.66M, $106M total cume
2). Pixels (SONY), 3,723 theaters / $9.15M Fri.* /$8.4M Sat (-8%)/$6.4M Sun (-24%)/ 3-day cume: $24M / Wk 1
*includes previews of $1.5M
Industry 3-day estimate: $23.7M
3). Minions (UNI), 4,066 theaters (-245)/ $6.8M Fri./$8.96M Sat (+32%)/$6.29M Sun (-30%)/ 3-day cume: $22.05M (-55%)/Total Cume: $261.6M / Wk 3
Industry 3-day estimate: $22.2M, $261.7M total cume
4). Trainwreck (UNI), 3,171 theaters (+13)/ $5.3M Fri./$6.8M Sat (+28%)/$5M Sun (-26%)/ 3-day cume: $17.1M (-43%)/Total cume: $61.5M/ Wk 2
Industry 3-day estimate: $17.3M, $61.6M total cume
5). Southpaw (TWC), 2,772 theaters / $6.2M Fri. */ $5.7M (-8%)/$4.6M (-20%)/3-day cume: $16.5M / Wk 1
*includes Thursday previews of $1.15M
Industry 3-day estimate: $16.2M
6). Paper Towns (FOX), 3,031 theaters / $6.3M Fri.* /$3.5M (-45%) Sat./$2.68M Sun (-24%)/ 3-day cume: $12.5M / Wk 1
*includes $2M Thursday previews
Industry 3-day estimate: $12.4M
7). Inside Out (DIS), 2,717 theaters (-546)/ $2.19M Fri./$2.95M Sat (+35%)/$2.2M Sun (-25%)/ 3-day cume: $7.36M (-36%) /Total cume: $320.2M/ Wk 6
Industry 3-day estimate: $7.1M, $320M total cume
8). Jurassic World (UNI), 2,645theaters (-472) / $2.05M Fri./$2.9M Sat (+42%)/$1.9 Sun (-34%)/ 3-day cume: $6.85M (-40%) /Total cume: $623.75M/ Wk 7
Industry 3-day estimate: $6.9M, total cume of $623.8M
9). Mr. Holmes (RSA/Miramax), 686 theaters (+325) / $774K Fri. (+20%) /$1.19M Sat (+53%)/$832K Sun (-30%)/ 3-day cume: $2.8M (+15%)/ Total cume: $6.4/Wk 2
Industry 3-day estimate: $2.8M, $6.39M total cume
10). Terminator: Genisys (PAR), 1,702 theaters (-1,112) / $673K Fri./$978K (+45%)/$749K Sun (-23%)/ 3-day cume: $2.4M (-56%) / Total cume: $85.66M/ Wk 4
Industry 3-day estimate: $2.36M, total cume $85.6M
Amy (A24), 370 theaters (-65)/3-day cume: $700K (-37%)/Total cume: $5.52M/Wk 4
The Vatican Tapes (LGF), 427 theaters / $282K Fri. /$303K Sat. (+7%)/$265K Sun (-13%)/ 3-day cume: $850K /Wk 1
Irrational Man (SPC), 28 theaters (+21)/3-day cume: $261K (+tkk%)/PTA $9,318K/Total cume: $519K/Wk 2
3RD UPDATE, Saturday 10AM after 2nd UPDATE, 1AM: Heading into the weekend, no one was expecting the hodgepodge of demo offerings to rewrite the box office record books. Despite any feeling of ennui, the top 10 films totaling $140.4M are actually +6% over the same frame a year ago.
Industry estimates show Sony’s sci-fi comedy Pixels as the No. 1 film on Friday with $9.2M (industry figures indicate $9.1M). However, unlike the Friday afternoon figures which had the Adam Sandler film maintaining a top score throughout the weekend, projections currently indicate that Ant-Man will reap from family matinees tomorrow while Pixels‘ Saturday will fall from Friday. That puts Ant-Man on top with an estimated $25.6M FSS. That’s a decent -55% second frame hold, beating the second weekend declines of Captain America: The First Avenger and The Incredible Hulk which were at -60%. By Sunday, Ant-Man‘s 10-day cume of $107.2M is expected to be running ahead of Incredible Hulk‘s at the same point in time by 10%. There’s that A CinemaScore working in Ant-Man’s favor.
Pixels earned a B CinemaScore, which is the same grade that Sandler earned on the Grown Up ensemble pics, which both bowed north of $40M and legged out respectively at 3x and 4x. Jack and Jill which was a recent low point for Sandler with critics (3% Rotten Tomatoes score) and B.O. ($25M opening, final domestic $74.2M) also earned a B. Deadline commenters yesterday raised their torches and pitchforks over Pixels, griping about its lofty budget and low score B.O. Sony reports the film with an estimated $88M production cost, which is in the wheelhouse of previous Sandler Sony fare (Remember, the studio held back from greenlighting Sandler’s $200M risky Candyland). And, yes, if Pixels’ opening comes in at $23.7M, it’s in that blase range for the actor: Under Jack and Jill and above the disastrous dramedy Funny People ($22.7M opening/$51.9M final cume).
It would be ridiculous to ignore the fact that Sandler’s star power is diminishing. It’s obvious he’s aware of this and routinely bends his image between his frat guy comedies and family fare (i.e. Jack and Jill, Bedtime Stories) in an effort to leverage his brand and stay afloat at the B.O. Pixels was an attempt by Sandler to think out of the box; few of his titles are effects-driven high concept pics. Despite Pixel‘s PG-13 rating, Sandler is making a play for dads and sons here. Critics, who gave it a lowly 19% Rotten Tomatoes score, are tired of his man-child shtick, and audiences may agree with them this time around.
On the bright side, Sandler is at a point in his career where he can flip business his way overseas to counter any U.S. shortfall: Blended bombed in the U.S. but made nearly double its domestic take abroad ($46.3M stateside to $80.5M foreign). Or there’s scenarios where his domestic and overseas hauls match each other — which for a major studio comedy is considered an accomplished feat for the genre. His Happy Madison label still has a feature deal with the studio (it’s a 15-year contract), and Sony re-upped his TV deal in January. And if he can’t make the movies he wants at Sony, then he’ll make some of them over at Netflix where he has a four-picture deal.
Despite Sandler’s wavering at the box office, he’s shown a resilient ability to open a film 20 years after leaving Saturday Night Live; even if it’s in the low $20M range. It’s a B.O. track record that former SNL alums like Chevy Chase and Bill Murray can’t even claim.
On social media, RelishMix reports that the Sandler film’s YouTube activity is the strongest for its owned videos at 46M. The comedic actor has an active Facebook page with 52M and he’s been hitting it, posting trailers and clips. Pixels actress Ashley Benson has 3.7M Twitter fans — beating Kevin James (282K) and Josh Gad (139K) — and she’s been retweeting their praise of the film. Meanwhile, the Pixels FB page counts 442K fans who are connecting with an impressive 60 native video posts.
The other new titles this weekend, boxing drama Southpaw aimed at adults, and the young teen girl drama Paper Towns have been playing a game of do-si-do on the charts since yesterday. Paper Towns looks to be lower than we expected with an estimated $15.25M. Teenage girls tend to head to the multiplex in packs, not to mention they show up in bulk on the first day. That said, business for Paper Towns is expected to trail off on Saturday and Sunday. The film earned a B+ CinemaScore, while John Green’s previous feature adaptation The Fault In Our Stars earned an A. That film turned out an awesome $48M opening further propped by Shailene Woodley’s star power coming off of Divergent. Paper Towns stars Fault‘s Nat Wolff and fresh face actress Cara Delevingne.
Southpaw, with a budget of $30M, looks to post $16.98M. Weinstein Co. always saw an opening in the mid-teens, and is betting this boxing drama sticks around for the rest of the summer. They’re bound to be correct: Audiences gave Southpaw an A CinemaScore, which is better than what the critics think about it at 59% Rotten. That CinemaScore comes with an average 3.6 multiple. It’s a slightly better start than Jake Gyllenhaal’s solo project Source Code which earned a B, bowed to $14.8M and ultimately made 3.7 times its bow in the end with $54.7M.
The film is hitting various points on social. While the film’s YouTube views are moderate per RelishMix at 35M driven by movie fan channels with FB reach at 132M, it’s getting some extra boost from musical artists Eminem and 50. 50 Cent, who plays Jordan Mains in the film, counts 38M FB likes, 7.7M on Twitter and 5.5M on Instagram. Including Eminem on the Southpaw soundtrack hooks 92M on FB (where he’s the second musician on FB only to Shakira at 101M), 19.6M on Twitter and 4.8M on Instagram. Due to Eminem’s pull on Facebook, trailer views were clocking 500K in a 12 hour period on Thursday. BTS clips and social stills in heavy rotation and a sneak peek video from March with 8M views. Gyllenhaal counts 1.4M on FB.
Uni’s Trainwreck is scheduled to arrive in fourth this weekend at $17.1M, down 43% in its second weekend. While that’s a steeper decline than the -26% hold that Bridesmaids posted, the 10-day estimated cume for the R-rated Amy Schumer romantic comedy at $61.3M is expected to inch ahead of the Kristen Wiig comedy by 3%.
As many insiders predicted, the fallout from the Grand Theatre tragedy isn’t having a greater impact on box office. According to an AP straw-poll of moviegoers around the nation, many are unfazed by the shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana; realizing it was an isolated, random act of violence. Yesterday, a rep from Custom Protective Services, a private security firm that is routinely hired by exhibitors on weekends, told Deadline that the company hadn’t received any requests that would require an increase of security at multiplexes in the wake of Lafayette. He said the firm isn’t expecting any copycat incidents.
The top 10 films per industry estimates for the weekend of July 24-26, 2015 as of 10AM Saturday:
1). Ant-Man (DIS), 3,868 theaters (+12) / $7.2M Fri. (-68%) / 3-day cume: $25.6M (-54%)/Total cume: $107.1M/Wk 2
2). Pixels (SONY), 3,723 theaters / $9.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $23.7M / Wk 1
3). Minions (UNI), 4,066 theaters (-245)/ $6.6M Fri. (-55%)/ 3-day cume: $22.3M (-55%)/Total Cume: $261.8M / Wk 3
4). Trainwreck (UNI), 3,171 theaters (+13)/ $5.3M Fri. (-50%) / 3-day cume: $17.1M (-43%)/Total cume: $61.5M/ Wk 2
5). Southpaw (TWC), 2,772 theaters / $6.19M Fri. / 3-day cume: $16.98M / Wk 1
6). Paper Towns (FOX), 3,031 theaters / $6.46M Fri. / 3-day cume: $15.25M / Wk 1
7). Inside Out (DIS), 2,717 theaters (-546)/ $2.1M Fri. (-36%)/ 3-day cume: $7.4M (-36%) /Total cume: $320.2M/ Wk 6
8). Jurassic World (UNI), 2,645theaters (-472) / $1.98M Fri. (-39%) / 3-day cume: $6.9M (-40%) /Total cume: $623.9M/ Wk 7
9). Mr. Holmes (RSA/Miramax), 686 theaters (+325) / $778K Fri. (+20%) / 3-day cume: $2.8M (+15%)/ Total cume: $6.4/Wk 2
10). Terminator: Genisys (PAR), 1,702 theaters (-1,112) / $658K Fri. (-60%) / 3-day cume: $2.38M (-46%) / Total cume: $85.6M/ Wk 4
Amy (A24), 370 theaters (-65)/$202K (-40%)/3-day cume: $768K (-31%)/Total cume: $5.58M/Wk 4
The Vatican Tapes (LGF), 427 theaters / $268K Fri. / 3-day cume: $666K /Wk 1
Jing Bing Man (ASIA), 11 theaters / $85K Fri. / 3-day cume: $266K /Wk 1
Irrational Man (SPC), 28 theaters (+21) / $63K Fri. (+9%) / 3-day cume: $223K (+27%)/PTA $8K/Total cume: $481K/Wk 2
1st UPDATE, Friday 6:54PM: Late-afternoon estimates show Sony’s Adam Sandler sci-fi comedy Pixels with a current Friday of $10.5M at 3,723 playdates, putting it on course for a FSS of $27M-$28M. The comedian has seen bigger opening days for his summer ensembles: Grown Ups made $14.4M in its first day, while Grown Ups 2 did $16.3M, but the hope here is that his adult fans will come out tonight. If these numbers stick, it’s better than what Sony was expecting and it’s definitely a rebound from Sandler’s stateside disaster last summer, Blended ($4.3M opening day, $14.3M opening, $46.3M cume). This currently puts Pixels in first place for the weekend.
Disney Marvel’s Ant-Man is biting at Sandler’s heels with an expected second frame of $25.75M, down 55%, sending the tiny superhero over the century mark by Sunday with an estimated $107.1M domestic B.O.. Some believe that Ant-Man has a chance to topple Pixels. We’ll have a better idea later tonight if that’s possible. Uni/Illumination Entertainment’s Minions also is vying for a mid-$20M weekend, putting its domestic B.O. in its third sesh north of $260M.
Universal’s Amy Schumer headliner Trainwreck is looking to have a -40% to -45% hold, putting its second weekend at $16.5M-$18M at 3,171 venues for a 10-day run between $60M-62.5M.
20th Century Fox’s feature adaptation of John Green’s YA novel Paper Towns is looking at an opening day of $7M-$7.5M inclusive of their $2M Thursday previews, putting the pic on course for a FSS of $17M. The studio was expecting a high-teens opening, hoping to tip the scales toward $20M. According to Rentrak’s Post Track, Paper Towns is drawing its expected young-female crowd with 74% under 25 and 71% female. Females under 25 love the film, with a 62% definite recommend, while general audiences give it a 52%. And 22% said they checked out the film for its subject matter/plot, while 13% said they came with someone who wanted to see it (boyfriends got roped in?). Paper Towns has a 60% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.
Weinstein Co.’s Kurt Sutter-scripted boxing film Southpaw is dancing around a $5.5M Friday for a $15M weekend. The Antoine Fuqua movie starring a ripped Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams, currently has a 57% Rotten Tomatoes score.