Weekend Box Office: "Southpaw" Emerges as Victor Over "Pixels" and "Paper Town"

Posted 11:35 AM July 26th, 2015 by Senh Duong
Jake Gyllenhaal in "Southpaw"

“Pixels” drew $24M worth of quarters this weekend in theaters, continuing Adam Sandler’s slide at the box office despite having “Harry Potter’s” Chris Columbus at the helm. Generally speaking, that’s a decent figure for a comedy, but it’s got a couple of things working against it. First, during the comedian’s heyday, each of his films routinely opened in the $40M range. Second, the effects-heavy film cost $88M to make; with poor reviews (19% on Rotten Tomatoes) and a so-so audience grade (B Cinemascore), it’ll have trouble reaching that breakeven point.

Is this the nail in the coffin for Adam Sandler’s career? Nope. Every star eventually experiences a career slide. You can’t be at the top forever. The great thing about comedies is that they’re generally cheap to produce. If he goes back to making $40M productions and continues to draw in his fans, even if they’re dwindling, his films will continue to make tidy profits for both himself and the studios that houses them.

Performing above expectations is Antoine Fugua’s “Southpaw.” Featuring a ripped Jake Gyllenhaal, the boxing drama drew in $16.5M. With a so-so 57% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but an A on Cinemascore, I’m not quite sure how well the film will hold up in the following weeks. Usually, a film with good word-of-mouth does better on Saturday than Friday; “Southpaw” dipped slightly with $5.7M on Saturday from its $6.2M Friday debut. Nonetheless, it should have no trouble reaching its production budget of $30M in the following weeks.

Speaking of Saturday dropoffs, “Paper Towns” experienced a precipitous and ominous 45% fall. After grossing a promising $6.3M on Friday, it only managed $3.5M the following day. For the weekend, it’s estimated to take in $12.5M, which is a lot lower than what was predicted based on its Friday figure. In yesterday’s report, I wrote that the teen romance, adapted from the author of the hugely successful “The Fault in Our Stars,” was the big winner of the three new releases. With a budget of just $12M, it’s still a winner, but no longer “big.”

With “Paper Towns” falling off the box office cliff through the course of the weekend and “Pixels” underperforming, “Southpaw” -- like its hero portrayed in the film -- emerged as the legitimate victor in the box office ring of new arrivals.

Overall, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” still ruled the weekend with $24.8M, barely edging out “Pixels.” Paul Rudd’s film topped the charts for two consecutive weekends and has totaled $106M in that time span.

Here are the top ten films at the box office this weekend:

1. “Ant-Man” $24.8M ($106M total)
2. “Pixels” $24M
3. “Minions” $22.1M ($262M total)
4. “Trainwreck” $17.3M ($61.5M total)
5. “Southpaw” $16.5M
6. “Paper Towns” $12.5M
7. “Inside Out” $7.4M ($320M total)
8. “Jurassic World” $6.9M ($623.8M total)
9. “Mr. Holmes” $2.8M ($6.4M total)
10. “Terminator: Genisys” $2.4M ($85.7M)

(Box office figures taken from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

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