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Box Office: ‘Paper Towns’ Tops ‘Pixels’ With $2 Million on Thursday Night

Teen romance “Paper Towns” opened solidly with $2 million on Thursday night, topping the Adam Sandler comedy “Pixels” with $1.5 million.

Paper Towns” screenings started at 9 p.m. with “very positive” reactions. About 500 of the 2,500 preview showings were preceded by a live-streaming event.

Sony’s “Pixels,” which screened at 2,776 sites on Thursday, is expected to lead a crowded field this weekend with a launch of around $25 million at 3,723 locations. Directed by Christopher Columbus, the film portrays an alien invasion of classic arcade game characters such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede and Space Invaders. It carries an $88 million pricetag.

Sandler stars alongside Kevin James, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad. “Pixels,” which also opens in 47 international markets, will probably battle the second weekend of Disney-Marvel’s “Ant-Man” and the third frame of Universal-Illumination’s “Minions” for the top spot.

Fox’s “Paper Towns,” based on the John Green novel and starring Natt Wolff and Cara Delevingne, will also be in the mix as it opens at 3,031 locations. It has been pegged by analysts for a $20 million launch, but its female fanbase could push the film above forecasts. Fox saw a stunning $48 million opening weekend last summer for its adaptation of Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Universal’s second weekend of Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” will also be a factor, with the well-reviewed R-rated comedy probably finishing around $20 million.

However, Thursday night’s tragic shooting at a Louisiana theater screening “Trainwreck” could hold down business during the weekend.

The Weinstein Co. is opening Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama “Southpaw,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal,” at 2,772 locations. It’s expected to wind up the weekend at about $13 million.

“Minions” has totaled an impressive $239.5 million in its first 14 days. “Ant-Man” has cumed $81.3  million in its first week while “Trainwreck” has earned $44.2 million.

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