‘Ant-Man’ inches past ‘Pix­els’ to take first place; ‘Southpaw’ bests ‘Pa­per Towns’

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - BY LIND­SEY BAHR

“Ant-Man” crept past new opener “Pix­els” to claim the top spot at the box of­fice this week­end by an ant-sized mar­gin. The Dis­ney and Marvel su­per­hero pic brought in $24.8 mil­lion over the week­end, bring­ing its do­mes­tic to­tal to $106.1 mil­lion ac­cord­ing to Ren­trak es­ti­mates Sun­day.

“Pix­els,” mean­while, just barely missed first place with a $24 mil­lion de­but. While stu­dios al­ways hope for the brag­ging rights of a No. 1 de­but, the real is­sue here is whether or not the Adam San­dler end of the world com­edy will make up its $88 mil­lion pro­duc­tion bud­get.

“It's been a lit­tle com­pet­i­tive in the mar­ket­place when you con­sider the ex­tent of the per­for­mance of 'Juras­sic' and 'In­side Out,”' said Sony's Pres­i­dent of World­wide Dis­tri­bu­tion Rory Bruer. “To get to where we opened to was quite good.”

Crit­ics were not fond of “Pix­els,” which shows 1980s video ar­cade game char­ac­ters at­tack­ing Earth, but younger au­di­ences still turned out to the­atres - an es­ti­mated 62 per cent were un­der the age of 25.

Paul Der­garabe­dian, Ren­trak's se­nior media an­a­lyst, said San­dler can still at­tract an au­di­ence, but the ex­pen­sive film has a lot of ground to make up.

“They're re­ally go­ing to have to count on the in­ter­na­tional com­po­nent. That's go­ing to be key,” he said.

Over­all, the box of­fice is down 3 per cent from the same week­end last year, when “Lucy” opened par­tic­u­larly strong. Der­garabe­dian said that though some are at­tempt­ing to link last week's theatre shoot­ings to any dip in the box of­fice this week­end, “the num­bers just don't bear it out.”

Holdovers “Minions” and “Train­wreck” took the third and fourth spots with $22.1 mil­lion and $17.3 mil­lion, re­spec­tively.

Mean­while, the R-rated box­ing drama “Southpaw” sur­passed ex­pec­ta­tions and landed a place in the top five with its $16.5 mil­lion open­ing.

Der­garabe­dian said that its per­for­mance is likely due to star Jake Gyl­len­haal's en­thu­si­as­tic pro­mo­tion of the film and also the fact that it pro­vides an al­ter­na­tive to the stan­dard sum­mer block­buster fare.

AP PHOTO

This photo pro­vided by Dis­ney shows Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in a scene from Marvel's "Ant-Man."

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