Weekend Box Office: $58 Million For ‘Ant-Man,’ Marvel’s 12th Consecutive Number One

Tracking predictions based on social media and other numbers had Marvel’s Ant-Man earning $58 million domestically this weekend, and early estimates say that’s exactly how much it earned. The film cost $130 million to make and was Marvel’s twelfth consecutive number one finish, though it’s well down from Marvel’s biggest.

[Ant-Man‘s] opening is similar to “The Incredible Hulk,” which earned an initial $55 million on its way to a $134 million U.S. haul.

…the domestic audience for “Ant-Man” was 28% comprised of families. Fifty eight percent of ticket buyers were male, 59% were adult, and 13% were teens. [Reuters]

Outside of the US, Ant-Man earned another $56 million in 37 markets. Good, not great, certainly nothing to complain about. Dull, predictable numbers for a dull, predictable film, basically. Though it did lead to a 700% rise in bad ant pun headlines (I’m guessing).

In second place was Minions, earning $50.2 million in its second weekend, ahead of the week’s other new wide opening, Trainwreck (my review). Trainwreck earned $30.2 million, ahead of most predictions, including social media-based tracking that had it at $26 million. That made it Judd Apatow’s second-biggest opening as a director behind Knocked Up (easily his best movie), though further down if you include the ones Apatow wrote, produced, and/or directed:

…among opening weekends for all Apatow films, Trainwreck trails the likes of Talledega Nights ($47 million), You Don’t Mess With the Zohan ($38.5m), Superbad ($33m), Stepbrothers ($30.9m), and Knocked Up ($30.69m). [Forbes]

For comparison, Bridesmaids opened at $26 million on its way to $288 million worldwide, one of only three Apatow films ever to cross $200 million worldwide (the other two being Knocked Up and the horrible Fun With Dick And Jane, oddly). In both cases, Judd Apatow gets a lot of credit for championing female-centric films, though if you ask me, you could just as easily blame him for sandbagging what could’ve been much better female-centric films with things like a Melissa-McCarthy-sh*tting-in-the-street scene and a painfully extended Lebron James role. It never felt like that happened with Girls, but maybe because that’s a premium cable series, and there was less pressure to sell it to the uncool. But that’s all just speculation. However Judd’s movies get made, it’s working.

According to Rentrak polling from the weekend, a whopping 28% of respondents went to see Trainwreck because of Ms. Schumer. That is star power, plain and simple. The film played 66% female with 63% over 30 years old. It played 74% Caucasian, 12% Hispanic, 7% African American, 5% Asian and 3% “other. [Forbes]

“Amy Schumer is absolutely a star,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “Based on exit polling, after the humor, she’s the second biggest reason people went out to see the film.” [Reuters]

Do you think the “people” they exit polled were secret robots? I don’t believe I’ve ever met an organically-composed human being who came out of a film saying “I went to see this film for Amy Schumer, but also for the humor. My reasons for seeing this film breakdown as follows: 45% humor. 35% Amy Schumer. 10% air conditioning. And 10% to obtain more popcorn butter to lubricate my gearbox MEEP MORP I mean hi, thanks for asking.”

Anyway, I’m happy that the takeaway from this weekend was that people want to see Amy Schumer. That’s good, because I look forward to seeing the Amy Schumer film that doesn’t have Amar’e Stoudamire and Marv Albert in it.

This week’s milestones:

  • Ant-Man was Marvel’s 12th straight number one opening.
  • Jurassic World became the fourth film in history to earn more than $600 million domestically.
  • Inside Out passed $300 million domestically, the third Pixar film (after Toy Story 3 and Nemo) to do so.

This week brings us Paper Towns (my artsy dreamgirl left me clues to find her in abandoned buildings!), Pixels (the Adam Sandler video game movie that was directed by Chris Columbus, strangely), and Southpaw. Did you know Jake Gyllenhaal plays a character called “Billy Hope” in that? And that his boxing nickname is “Billy ‘The Great’ Hope?” That should be interesting.