After several years of protracted development, Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man finally debuted in theaters this past weekend with a respectable 57.2 million at the U.S. box office. The well reviewed super hero pic was the twelfth consecutive number one debut for Marvel since 2008’s Iron Man soared onto screens. It was, however, their second lowest debut for a new release; it notched only above The Incredible Hulk (not accounting for inflation or today’s higher priced 3D ticket options).
Like the beleaguered green beast production, which resulted in the recasting of the title character and has yet to yield any stand-alone sequels, Marvel may already be opting for a similar strategy with their “small” hero. Next summer’s Captain America: Civil War, for which Paul Rudd has already suited up, is currently in production. A direct Ant-Man follow up, meanwhile, is not currently on a studio schedule that reaches all the way to 2019.
Still, with an A cinemascore and a solid overseas debut, the future looks bright for the modestly budgeted Peyton Reed film. For some context, the Marvel release opened larger than other big budget summer entries this year such as Mad Max: Fury Road and San Andreas. And unlike parent co Disney’s major misfire, Tomorrowland, Ant-Man should find it’s way into the black while boosting the character’s name recognition (toy sales, licensing, etc..) and over all value within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Still good enough for a powerful second place finish, Universal’s Minions was down a steep (but not unexpected) fifty-seven percent as it grossed over 49 million.
The Despicable Me spin-off has already made nearly 216 million. It should pass the original Despicable Me (which topped out at 251 million) this weekend. And while it may not reach the heights of Despicable Me 2 (368 million), it could challenge Inside Out for the animated release crown of the summer.
It was a return to form for director Judd Apatow as Trainwreck debuted at number three with a strong 30 million. Directing a screenplay from star Amy Schumer, the multihyphenate film-maker’s well reviewed movie could be his first helming gig since 2007’s Knocked Up to hit 100 million at the U.S. box office. After busting out with The 40 Year Old Virgin in 2005, Apatow has weathered disappointing box office returns on directorial endeavors such as Funny People and This is 40, while remaining active as a producer on hits like Bridesmaids and the HBO’s Girls.
Dropping one place to fourth, Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out was down a mild third to 11.5 million. At 306 million and counting, the movie appears headed somewhere between 340-350 million at the domestic box office.
Rounding out the top five, Jurassic World fell three places as it passed the 600 million dollar mark. Down less than 40 percent from last weekend, the dinosaurs chomped up another 11 million. With over 611 million, the movie should surpass The Avengers by the weekend, and could hit 650 million by summer’s end.
Much of the nineties nostalgia powering Jurassic World doesn’t seem to have rubbed off on Terminator: Genisys. The cyborg sequel/reboot suffered another bad drop in it’s third frame. Off sixty percent from last weekend, it managed another 5.4 million to squeak by a total of over 80 million. If the movie continues to evaporate at this level, the 100 million dollar mark looks less likely. The would make the film not just a disappointment, but an embarrassment. It’s also looking less likely that foreign returns will be able to make up the difference for the costly production’s failure here in the U.S.
Magic Mike was still dancing this weekend. Clinging to the top ten, the inexpensive sequel pulled in another 4.4 million and upped it’s total to over 58 million. While somewhat of a disappointment, the movie is heading for a respectable 65 million in the U.S.
After a muted debut, micro-budget The Gallows (from producer Jason Blum) fell a genre-norm 59 percent in it’s sophomore outing. Unlike many other Blumhouse wide releases, the movie failed to overperform last weekend. The production company will have another chance later this summer with their Sinister 2
At a limited 256 theater engagement, Indian film Bajrangi Bhaijaan commanded a place in the top ten with a 2.6 million debut. It will be interesting to see how distributor Eros handles it’s expansion over the coming weeks.
Finally, Ted 2 spent what will be it’s last weekend in the top ten with 2.6 million. With 77 million, the more expensive sequel has yet to make half as much as it’s blockbuster predecessor. Look for a final gross in the vicinity of 82-85 million.