It may have plenty of recognizable human stars like Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad, but Pixels box office success will likely rest with its other costars. That would be Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Space Invaders, and many other characters from the iconic video games of many years past.
The Columbia Pictures release comes from director Chris Columbus (who made the first two Home Alone and Harry Potter pics and Mrs. Doubtfire) and has the fascinating premise of bringing the aforementioned arcade heroes and villains to life as they crash Earth. Pixels comes with a hefty reported budget of $110 million and has been very heavily advertised in recent weeks.
Sandler’s recent history at the multiplex has been mixed. This decade, the Grown Ups flicks have performed well, but there’s been flops such as That’s My Boy and last summer’s Blended. Yet, as mentioned, Mr. Sandler is not the main draw here. The film does give him a highly legit shot at his personal best premiere.
Pixels will rely greatly on moviegoers curious to see their favorite game creatures populate the silver screen and also hope to bring in youngsters who have no clue what an arcade really was. As I see it, there’s a pretty wide range for how this could perform. At worst, it could flop in the mid 20s and struggle to make its budget stateside. The ceiling for this could be as high as $60 million out of the gate if its robust marketing campaign succeeds. The competition for family audience is there – Minions will be in its third weekend with Ant-Man in its second and that could be a factor if it under performs.
I believe Pixels will post a solid opening and manage to become Sandler’s largest debut ever, just edging out his 2005 comedy The Longest Yard which made $47.6 million. How it holds up in subsequent weekends with largely be determined by the word of mouth, which is an unknown currently.
Pixels opening weekend prediction: $49 million
For my Paper Towns prediction, click here:
For my Southpaw prediction, click here: