Box office: 'Pixels' wins Friday, on track for $25 million weekend

'Pixels' Vs. 'Paper Towns' at the Box Office


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.

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Box office: 'Pixels' wins Friday, on track for $25 million weekend
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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Jake Gyllenhaal attends the meet & greet for the Manhattan Theatre Club production of 'Constellations' at the MCC Rehearsal Studios on November 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is seen on November 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by SBN/Star Max/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal arrives at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal attends day one of Variety Studio: Actors On Actors presented by Samsung Galaxy on November 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Jake Gyllenhaal attends AOL's BUILD Speaker Series: Jake Gyllenhaal Discusses His New Film 'Nightcrawler' at AOL Studios In New York on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
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THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0151 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Jake Gyllenhaal plays 'Water Wars' with host Jimmy Fallon on October 29, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0151 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Jake Gyllenhaal plays 'Water Wars' with host Jimmy Fallon on October 29, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Jake Gyllenhaal and director Jean-Marc Vallee are seen filming 'Demolition' in Hudson River Park on October 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal attends the 'Nightcrawler' New York Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on October 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: [EDITOR'S NOTE: Image has been digitally processed] Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
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TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal (L) and director Jean-Marc Vallee attend the HFPA & InStyle's 2014 TIFF celebration at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at Windsor Arms Hotel on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 05: Jake Gyllenhaal at the 'Nightcrawler' Press Conference at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel on September 5, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Jake Gyllenhaal Promotes 'Brokeback Mountain' At The 62Nd Venice Film Festival. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
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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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