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

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.

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