Box Office: ‘Pixels’ Wins Friday, On Track for $25 Million Weekend

Box Office: 'Pixels' Wins Friday, On
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Adam Sandler’s nostalgic video game comedy “Pixels” outdid teenage romance pic “Paper Towns” at the Friday box office, but both newcomers have to deal with holdover hits “Ant-Man” and “Minions.”

Sony’s “Pixels” generated $9 million in Friday showings, on track for $25 million on the weekend. Studio estimates had forecasted an opening weekend in the $25 million range. Joining Sandler in the cast are Josh Gad, Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage. The Christopher Columbus-directed pic will play in 3,723 locations. “Pixels” has been criticized for lacking heart, though; the Variety review contends that the plot’s “apocalyptic stakes are treated with no more consequence than an air-hockey match.”

Behind “Pixels” is Marvel hit “Ant-Man,” which raked in $7 million on Friday. The size-challenged superhero is poised to win the weekend with $25 million, which will up its cumulative haul to $106 million after it opened to a strong $58 million last weekend.

In third place for Friday is animated juggernaut “Minions,” which netted $6.7 million, pacing for $22 million on the weekend. The yella fellas are likely to jibberish their way to a total of $260 million by weekend’s end.

“Paper Towns,” adapted from a YA novel by John Green (who also wrote 2014’s teen fav “The Fault in Our Stars”), raked in $6.3 million on Friday, on track for a $14 million weekend total. Though young people will flock to the pic, it’s unlikely that “Towns” will come close to the success of “Fault,” which opened to $26 million on its opening day on its way to a domestic haul of $125 million.

“Towns” is a teen dramedy starring Nat Wolff and model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne that “pulses with moving and melancholy moments,” according to the Variety review.

Early estimates had the coming-of-age story pegged for $16 million to $19 million range at 3,031 locations. “Paper Towns” won the Thursday night race over “Pixels,” pulling in $2 million to $1.5 million for “Pixels,” but the tide is likely to continue shifting in “Pixels'” favor through the weekend. Like its predecessor, however, “Paper Towns” will more than make up for its $12 million budget. “Pixels,” on the other hand, might have a tougher time making back its $88 million budget.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s awards season hopeful “Southpaw” finished in fifth, taking in $6 million at 2,772 locations. It should end the weekend with a $16 million haul.

“Trainwreck,” Amy Schumer’s foray into filmmaking, nabbed $5.3 million Friday, pacing for $17 million on the weekend and a grand total of $61 million by Sunday.