US Box Office Report: 24/07/15 – 26/07/15

Pixels has insufficient quarters, Southpaw goes down in the fifth, Paper Towns exposes the flimsy construction of the John Green empire, nobody wanted to see what The Vatican Tapes didn’t want us to see, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Folks, you did it.  You kept Pixels from the number 1 slot.  And you kept it from making any decent amount of money, as it closed the weekend in second place with just $24 million.  You did it, gang!  You really did it!  You proved that you are over Adam Sandler.  His scurrying away to the darkest bowels of Netflix with the rest of Happy Madison is like when the exploited villagers of a cynical, money-grubbing dicksh*t finally rise up against him and drive him out of town with pitchforks and torches!  You did it, folks!  Admittedly, it was a close call, since Ant-Man is currently only sitting pretty at the top by $750,000, but you did it anyway!  And that’s what counts!

In fact, it was a rather miserable and underwhelming week all around, to be honest.  Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw, for example, was released this weekend.  Remember how excited we all were for that movie?  When we saw Jake Gyllenhaal all scary-jacked up, and how amazing Rocky was, and how this was going to be this big awards season contender that one time and that finally Jake Gyllenhaal would have to be recognised in all Best Actor races after being bewilderingly shut out last year?  You know, until that trailer came out and… yeah, there’s a reason this one was dumped mid-Summer.  Audiences agreed, and so the film opened in fifth place with $16.5 million.  On the bright side, I got to make a Snatch reference in the headline, so this whole thing wasn’t a total waste!

Meanwhile, the John Green Empire took a critical hit in its formative stages thanks to Paper Towns.  Compared to the runaway smash success of The Fault In Our Stars from last year – of a $48 million first place kind – Paper Towns struggled to reach $12.5 million and sixth place.  Is this because teenagers are fickle as f*ck?  Is it because everyone had places to be this weekend?  Or is it just because a subpar adaptation of an author’s inferior-to-his-much-better-work novel wasn’t going to make any money anyway?  It’s probably the last one.  After all, people weren’t exactly tripping over themselves to race to the box office to see that 2013 adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, were they?  Just goes to show that not every novel by an author is worth adapting just because one of them was good and/or popular.  If somebody could pass that message along for me to the people who keep pumping out insufferable Nicholas Sparks movies, that’d be just swell.

In The Land Of Really Stretching The Term Limited Releases, Mark Neveldine – of Neveldine/Taylor of Crank 2: High Voltage more commonly known as THE GREATEST ACTION MOVIE RELEASED THIS CENTURY – decided that he was going to try and be the Shawn Michaels to Bryan Taylor’s Marty Jannetty and split off to direct the found-footage exorcism flick The Vatican Tapes.  As karma for this act of betrayal/insolence, the film sat on the shelf for a good year and a bit before finally getting dumped in 427 theatres, trashed by critics, and managing a pathetic $850,000 for a sub-$2,000 per-screen average.  Hopefully now he and Taylor – whom I was just reminded was supposed to direct and release a Twisted Metal movie this year, which caused me to laugh for a solid minute – will recognise that they are stronger together and go back to making movies as a cohesive unit!  Daddy needs Crank 3D, dammit.

Also, the best performing film of the weekend was Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, which added 21 screens (for a total of 28), and took home $261,000 for a $9,321 per-screen average.  Once again, you all do know that you don’t have to give him money for everything he does, right?


ant man

A winner is you with this Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 24th July 2015 – Sunday 26th July 2015

1] Ant-Man

$24,765,000 / $106,075,000

Again, this is currently real tight, so things may switch when the actuals come in, but everything’s great for now!  Also, allow me to highlight this well-argued piece by Umberto Gonzalez about how he was offended by the character of Luis in Ant-Man.  I personally don’t agree with the piece – as I mention in my review, I feel that the film’s commitment to ensuring that everyone gets enough development to be a character keeps characters like Luis from being just a racist stereotype – and most of the article’s (mostly Latino) commenters don’t seem to agree either, but it’s well-written and I have huge respect for him bringing the issue forward.  Even when it seems like we’re being too sensitive, it’s still important to call out these things and have these discussions.

2] Pixels

$24,000,000 / NEW

Seeing this on Tuesday for an Unlimited Screening and a review will be along the following day, so I’m restraining any sick burns or easy jokes until then.  Hell, I’m even going to flush them out of my mind completely!  With films like Pixels, I worry that we all take a little too much pleasure in dumping on easy targets, that we get a little carried away and just devolve into strings of (often admittedly) hilarious insults because we can be united in attacking a common low-effort target.  That’s why I try really hard to avoid doing that in my reviews of such films – my Paul Blart and Entourage reviews do have the occasional funny lines, but mostly stick to explaining the legitimate genuine faults those movies have instead of going for comedy gold.

What I’m saying is that I like the middle-part of Moviebob’s Pixels review, where he breaks down in detail why the film sucks, but that review blew up for all of the wrong reasons and that makes me sad and/or mad.

3] Minions

$22,100,000 / $261,620,000

Look, you all like to insult the Minions and claim that their kind and their movies are abominations and the downfall of civilisation.  OK, whatever.  But, have the Minions ever made an allegedly videogame-themed theme song for their movie by Waka Flocka Flame (featuring two people from Good Charlotte who I am not 100% convinced aren’t just clones of one another), where the lyrics barely reference videogames, barely rhyme, and are performed on a beat that sounds like Maroon 5 covering a Panic! At The Disco cover of a 2015 Fall Out Boy song?  I rest my case.

4] Trainwreck

$17,300,000 / $61,545,000

I hate to bring the mood down, but let’s all just take a moment to mourn those killed at The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana this past weekend.  I could use this space to get incredibly angry – at the lax gun control laws, to the fact that the media keeps painting the cause of the shooting as a mystery despite the fact that it took place during a feminist film by a feminist movie star and that the victims were women who were shot by a man with a history of abusive behaviour towards female members of his family – but I’m honestly just kinda numb to all of this by this point.  It’s clear that nothing’s going to change – not gun control laws, and certainly not the toxic sexism that has been ingrained into our society – and I just can’t muster up any emotions about this anymore.  Like, seriously, what is it going to take to get something to change?

OK, sorry for springing that on you folks in what is supposed to be a fun and silly space.  Back to our regularly scheduled programme.

5] Southpaw

$16,500,000 / NEW

Saw this Friday and a review will be along tomorrow – it got held up by the length of time it took for me to write about Inside Out – but I will tell you that this one was incredibly disappointing.  A film that actively steers itself away from anything remotely interesting or new in favour of yet another tale about male masculinity and fatherly redemption, but this time with extra excess melodrama.  It’s fine for what it is, but I’m tired of seeing films like Southpaw.  Tell me something new!

Also, I do kinda have to agree with my friend Matt: making a non-Rocky-related boxing movie over an MMA movie in 2015 is pure wankery.

6] Paper Towns

$12,500,000 / NEW

So, question: who, what, where, why, and how Cara Delevingne?  Seriously, I go to bed one night, and then wake up the next morning to find people incapable of not talking about her and that she’s appearing in the something like 7 films over the next 12 months.  What gives?  I mean no disrespect for her or anything, she might be a fine actress and a perfectly upstanding human being, I’m just naturally cautious about anybody who blows up overnight and is in everything.  Last time this happened, we got The Walking Embodiment of Beige, commonly known as Jai Courtney.  Just saying.

7] Inside Out

$7,356,000 / $320,335,000

Here is my attempt to offer up a straight review, where I only talk about the film and why it’s brilliant and I love it on its own merits.  That took 8 hours to write.  Here is my in-depth, personal, and spoiler-y piece on why Inside Out is so emotionally attached to me in ways that I really can’t separate it from.  That took about 3 hours to write.  Writing, everybody!

8] Jurassic World

$6,900,000 / $623,803,000

Ladies, gentlemen, and others… your third highest grossing film domestically AND worldwide of all-time.  I’ll leave the thinkpieces to you folks, I really don’t care either way about this.

9] Mr. Holmes

$2,849,000 / $6,432,000

Hey!  This actually broke into the chart!  Yay and stuff!

10] Terminator: Game Gear

$2,400,000 / $85,666,000

On the one hand: YIPPEE!  This piece of dog sh*t is bidding us adieu!  We might be spared a sequel after all!  On the other hand: dammit!  I had all of these videogame console name substitutions lined up for usage, and now they’re all going to go to waste!  What good is a once-slightly-clever gag escalation if I don’t get to run it into the ground?!  Life is the worst!

This is a situation with no clear-cut answer, so I’m just going to embed the unquestionably godawful Pixels theme song below and call it for the week.

Dropped Out: Magic Mike XXL, The Gallows, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Ted 2

Callum Petch won’t be around.  He now mainly writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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