Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ knocks out ‘Pixels,’ ‘Southpaw’ and ‘Paper Towns’ for no. 1

It came down to something of a photo finish, but Walt Disney Studios' “Ant-Man” held on to the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row. Newcomer “Pixels,” which was expected to take the crown, ended up making just $765,000 less and Marvel's miniature hero remained on top.

“Ant-Man” dropped an OK 56.7% from its initial frame earning $24.7 million for $106 million overall domestic.  At this point it is just $8 million ahead of where “The Incredible Hulk” was during its run in 2008.  That Marvel Studios and Universal Studios collaboration ended up with $134.8 million.  At this point, it appears as though “Ant-Man” will top out around $150 million domestic.

“Pixels” opened to a flat studio estimate of $24 million which likely means it will come in under when actuals are released on Monday.  Sony Pictures attempted to hide polarizing star Adam Sandler's involvement, but the marketing may have had a tougher time explaining the actual concept to moviegoers.  Reviews didn't help as “Pixels” earned just a 27 grade on Metacritic and a 19% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  With a reported $88 million production budget, the comedy adventure will need to play strong overseas to break even.  It's made $25 million internationally so far.

“Minions” dropped to no. 3 with another $22.1 million and $261.6 million to date.  The “Despicable Me” spin-off is a massive hit, but won't end up surpassing “Inside Out” as many in the industry expected. Don't cry for distributor Universal Studios, however.  The animated flick has earned $759.4 million globally and could be the company's third $1 billion grosser of the year.

Another Universal Studios release, “Trainwreck,” landed in fourth with another $17.3 million and $61.5 million in just 10 days.  The tragic events of Thursday night in Lafayette, Louisiana did not seem to affect the film's performance as it dropped a respectable 42.5% from its opening weekend. The Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer collaboration still has a shot at hit $100 million when all is said and done.

One of three new releases this weekend, “Southpaw” took fifth with $16.5 million. The Antoine Fuqua directed boxing tale opened slightly higher than pre-release polling fueled on strong audience word of mouth.  Distributor The Weinstein Company would be thrilled if the movie performed similarly to some of Jake Gyllenhall's recent releases such as “Nightcrawler,” “Prisoners,” “End of Watch” and “Source Code” that ended up tripling their first weekend gross.

Debuting at no. 6 was 20th Century Fox's “Paper Towns.”  The second John Green adaptation after last year's blockbuster “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Towns” ended up being a massive disappointment taking in just $12.5 million. With just a $12 million production budget 20th Century Fox still has a shot to break even theatrically, but it won't be the cash cow “Fault” was. 

Notably, “Mr. Holmes” jumped to a pretty much nationwide status in 686 theaters (“Ant-Man” is in 3,868 comparably) for a second weekend gross of $2.8 million and an impressive per screen of $4,153.  The Miramax Films and Roadside Attractions release has now earned $6.4 million in just 10 days.  The Bill Condon directed Sherlock Holmes tale should easily top $10 million domestic and is Roadside's second “art house” hit of the summer after “Love & Mercy” which crossed the $12 million mark today.

Additionally, “Jurassic World” bit off another $6.9 million for a domestic take of $623.8 million and $1.54 billion globally.  The Chris Pratt action flick is now just $34.1 million away from surpassing “Titanic” for no. 2 all-time.

New releases this week include “Vacation” on Wednesday and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” on Friday.

Final weekend ticket sales are released on Monday.

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