It might have been rough going in critic’s circles for Pixels, but the film’s revenue continues to track upward due in large part to box office performance outside the United States.
According to Box Office Mojo, the film’s worldwide take through August 16 now stands at $155,633,000 on a production budget of $88 million. More than $91 million of that is from foreign markets, including the UK, Ireland and Sweden over the past week. Opening dates in ten more markets are still upcoming, including the Hong Kong, Croatia, the Netherlands and Thailand on August 20, Cyprus on August 21, the Philippines on the 26th, New Zealand on Sept. 2, Australia on Sept. 10, Japan on Sept. 12 and China on Sept. 15.
Pixels is based off of a 2010 short film by the same name. When aliens attack the earth in the form of classic arcade video game characters such as Pac-Man, Galaga, Centipede, Arkanoid, BurgerTime, Tetris, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Q*bert, Duck Hunt and Donkey Kong it is up to the championship video gamers from a 1982 tournament to save the planet. Former champions played by Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Kevin James come together to blast back against the alien invaders in countries around the world. The film was produced and directed by Chris Columbus and also features performances by Michelle Monaghan, Jane Krakowski, Ashley Benson and Dan Aykroyd.
It was mostly panned by critics but received better reviews online from some of the general public once the film went into full release, but not enough to shake off the sting of the critics domestically. Pixels‘ domestic take of $64,533,000 puts it in 27th place in American box office thus far for 2015, just above The Wedding Ringer and just below Magic Mike XXL as of this writing. According to a Deadline article, Pixels would need to make just north of $200 million worldwide to break even given the high budget and other costs associated with making and distributing a film.
It remains to be seen if the remaining foreign market releases will help push the film over the $200 million mark worldwide, a mark that might prove of interest to other upcoming films based on video game properties and culture. Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s best-selling book, is set for a 2017 release while films based on the book Console Wars are currently in the works. A sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph is also reportedly in the works. The original Wreck-It Ralph, an animated feature that included many of the same 1980s arcade characters as Pixels, took in over $471 million worldwide with almost $190 million of that coming from the domestic box office.
China, the final theatrical release date for the film, may be the saving grace to get Pixels to the $200 million mark. Reports state that a scene featuring the destruction of the Great Wall of China was removed in order to help the film perform better in that country.