Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ is no. 1 but smallest Marvel debut since ‘Incredible Hulk’

There are a couple of different ways to look at the opening of “Ant-Man.”  On the positive side, the Peyton Reed directed superhero flick is the 12th Marvel Studios release to open at no. 1 (they all have, actually).  “Ant-Man” is by far the largest debut for star Paul Rudd and, considering it's title and concept, the film's $58 million opening is sort of remarkable when taken outside the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  That being said, there are some negatives.

Like “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man” came under pre-release estimates.  This is the lowest opening for a Marvel Studios release since “Captain America: The First Avenger” in 2011 and it was the only film in the top five this weekend to drop from Friday to Saturday (14.2%).  “Ant-Man” did, however, score an A grade on Cinemascore which indicates strong word of mouth.  It will need it.  This is the first Marvel release in some time where the industry will be wondering if it can makeup its production budget during its theatrical release.  With ($114.4 million) so far worldwide it has a shot.

As for the other films at the box office this weekend, “Minions” dropped from the top spot to no. 2 with a superb $50.2 million. “Minions” may have dropped 56% from its opening frame, but it jumped 39% from Friday to beat “Ant-Man” on Saturday. The Universal Studios release has now earned a monstrous $216.6 million domestically in just 10 days. Globally, the animated spinoff has raked in $627.7 million so far.

Another Universal Studios release, “Trainwreck,” debuted at no. 3 with a super $30.2 million.  That's a great take considering the comedy is star Amy Schumer's first leading role and the overall competition in the marketplace.  It also is a big win for director Judd Apatow as it's barely behind “Knocked Up” as his biggest opening to date (that could change when actuals are reported on Monday).  “Trainwreck” has little competition until “Vacation” enters the marketplace on Wednesday, July 29.

Holding strong in fourth was Pixar's “Inside Out.” The critically acclaimed animated adventure earned another $11.6 million for $306 million so far. That makes it just the third Pixar release including “Toy Story 3” and “Finding Nemo” to hit $300 million domestic.  

The biggest film of the year so far, “Jurassic World,” took in $11.4 million for a gargantuan $611.1 million domestically to date.  “World” is now just $12 million behind “Marvel's The Avengers” for no. 3 on the all-time list and could easily catch “Titanic” at no. 2 with $658.6 million.

In limited release three films found strong results.  Roadside Attractions and Miramax Films' “Mr. Holmes” surprised many by cracking the top 10 earning $2.4 million in just 363 theaters.  Woody Allen's “Irrational Man” had a strong start in five theaters with $188,000 or $37,600 per screen.  “Stanford Prison Experiment” also made waves earning $40,324 or $20,162 per screen in just two theaters.

New films opening this Friday include “Pixels,” “Southpaw” and “Paper Towns.”

For more box office insight and movie buzz follow @TheGregoryE

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