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Box office preview: 'Pixels,' 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw'

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For the first time since it opened six weeks ago, Jurassic World has finally dropped out of the box office top five. (But before it left, it spawned a 2018 sequel and eclipsed The Avengers to become the third biggest movie of all time.) In its place, there are no less than four films eyeing a weekend in the mid-20s.

Pixels is the favorite to win the weekend, with an expected opening in the $25 to $30 million range, but if Ant-Man (or even Minions) holds up better than expected, Pixels could end up in second. Paper Towns, the adaptation of John Green’s young adult novel, is also opening this weekend, and while it’s not expected to have Fault In Our Stars-level success, it should open somewhere around $25 million. Also opening this weekend? Jake Gyllenhaal’s boxing movie Southpaw, and while it isn’t expected to crack the top five, it should earn a solid debut in the mid-teens. 

Here are our predictions for this weekend at the box office:  

1. Pixels — $27 million

The general consensus among box office predictors is that Pixels will bring in between $25 and $30 million for the weekend, but a few have predicted that Pixels will actually open in the high thirties. The movie may have been critically panned (it’s got a 17 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but plenty of Sandler films with much worse reviews have done well at the box office. (Grown Ups 2 boasts a 7 percent rating, but it still opened to $41.5 million.)

2. Ant-Man —$25.7 million

Depending on who you talk to, Ant-Man’s opening weekend was either a big success ($57.2 million makes it the 10th biggest opening of the year) or a total flop (it’s one of the worst Marvel Cinematic Universe openings ever). Other MCU releases have dropped an average of 55 percent in their second weekend, and if Ant-Man follows that trend, it’ll make just north of $25 million.

3. Paper Towns — $25 million

Conservative predictions are placing Paper Towns around $20 million, but last year’s adaptation of Green’s The Fault In Our Stars exceeded expectations to open at $48 million. Paper Towns probably won’t reach that high, as TFIOS sold far more books, and stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were still basking in their Divergent success, but Paper Towns should still land somewhere in the mid-twenties.

4. Minions — $24.6 million

After opening to a whopping $115.7 million, earning the second biggest animated debut ever, the Despicable Me spinoff saw a steep drop of 57.4 percent last weekend. Despicable Me 2 only fell 43 percent in its third weekend, but most projections have Minions declining about 50 percent, which would put it just shy of $25 million for the weekend.

5. Trainwreck — $16.6 million

Amy Schumer’s box0office debut opened well above expectations last weekend, and thanks to positive critical buzz, it’s expected to only drop about 45 percent in its second weekend. That being said, similar R-rated, female-led comedies have held up extremely well after opening, and there’s a chance that Trainwreck could, once again, do better than expected. (The Heat dropped 36.7 percent in its second weekend, and Bridesmaids fell a miniscule 20.4 percent.) 

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