Box Office: ANT-MAN on Top with $58 Million; TRAINWRECK Solid in Third

     July 19, 2015


After a long, bumpy road to the multiplex, Ant-Man has arrived. According to studio estimates, Ant-Man earned $58 million from 3,864 locations. That’s on the low end of pre-release projections for the Marvel adaptation. It also represents the lowest launch among Marvel Cinematic Universe titles since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

Ant-Man has always been hard to quantify in terms of its ultimate box office potential. In fact, among the twelve films that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, perhaps only Guardians of the Galaxy was a bigger box office question mark prior to its release (there’s a reason Marvel/Disney picked an August release date, after all). We now know how things turned out for Guardians, which leaves only Ant-Man to ponder.

ant-man-poster-iron-manHeading into this weekend, $60 million was the standard projection for Ant-Man’s box office debut. That put it between the $55.4 million of The Incredible Hulk and the $65 million of Thor and Captain America. Of course, $60 million was also where Guardians was expected to land last summer – before it broke out with $94 million and locked down four first-place finishes. So with a prime release date in July (the same weekend that launched The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises), who could say if Ant-Man would pull off another Marvel-sized surprise?

We now know that no such surprise is forthcoming. Clearly the infamous ‘Avengers bump’ failed in this case. Which is not to say that Ant-Man is anything near a box of failure. The trouble with building a reputation for box office blockbusters is that the moment one of your films fails to exceed expectations, you look like you’re slipping. Fans can wonder how things might have turned out if Edgar Wright had stayed to direct Ant-Man (though he did retain co-screenwriting credit), but that ground has been pretty well picked over by now. All that’s left is to wait and see how Ant-Man holds up in the weeks to come – and for its international grosses to start rolling in. North America may have moved on but, overseas, the Avengers bump is still very much a factor.

Here’s a look at the box office results for all Marvel Cinematic Universe titles to date:

 Title Opening Domestic Global
1.  Iron Man (2008) $98.6 $318.4 $585.1
2.  The Incredible Hulk (2008) $55.4 $134.8 $263.4
3.  Iron Man 2 (2010) $128.1 $312.4 $623.9
4.  Thor (2011) $65.7 $181 $449.3
5.  Captain America (2011) $65 $176.6 $368.6
6.  Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) $207.4 $623.3 $1.5 bil.
7.  Iron Man 3 (2013) $174.1 $409 $1.2 bil.
8.  Thor: The Dark World (2013) $85.7 $206.3 $644.7
9.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier $95 $259.7 $714.7
10.  Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) $94.3 $333.1 $774.1
11.  Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) $191.2 $455.5 $1.38 bil.
12.  Ant-Man  $58


trainwreck-posterAnt-Man was not the only new release this weekend, nor was it the most-discussed – depending on where you get your pop culture news. Universal’s Trainwreck received an unusual amount of attention for a summer comedy, thanks in large part to its writer and star (and recent Emmy nominee), Amy Schumer. Of course, having Judd Apatow attached as director didn’t hurt either. In fact, with an estimated $30.2 million on its first weekend, Trainwreck is now one of the strongest debuts of Apatow’s career. It falls just under the $30.6 million of 2007’s Knocked-Up but tops the $26.2 million of 2011’s Bridesmaids (which Apatow produced). Of course, the true strength of Bridesmaids lay in its weekend multiples. Trainwreck received an A- from CinemaScore audiences and an 85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so, at least for the moment, the comedy looks like it has legs.

Though it wasn’t playing in the same league as Ant-Man or Trainwreck, Mr. Holmes was also new in theatres this weekend. Directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) and starring Ian McKellan as an elderly Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Holmes earned an estimated $2.489 million from 386 locations, or a per-screen average of $6,587.

We told you yesterday that Jurassic World crossed the $600 million mark in domestic sales in a record 36 days. On Saturday, two other holdovers hit important box office milestones: Inside Out passed $300 million in North America while Minions hit $200 million after nine days in theatres. Last weekend’s number one film was down 56% in its sophomore frame but saw its worldwide total rise to $625.7 million.

Overall, this weekend’s total box office reached $193 million. That’s up 29% over the same frame last year when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was enjoying its second weekend in first place. At this time next week, the top spot should go to Sony/Columbia’s Pixels, which is expected to earn close to $55 million.

Until then, here’s this weekend’s top ten based on studio estimates:

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Ant-Man $58,040,000 $58
2.  Minions $50,200,000 $216.6
3.  Trainwreck $30,200,000 $30.2
4.  Inside Out $11,660,000 $306.3
5.  Jurassic World $11,400,000 $611.1
6.  Terminator: Genisys $5,400,000 $80.6
7.  Magic Mike XXL $4,500,000 $58.6
8.  The Gallows $4,005,000 $18
9.  Ted 2 $2,700,000 $77.4
10.  Mr. Holmes $2,489,000 $2.48


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