Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ to Tower Over ‘Trainwreck’

Box Office Preview: 'Ant-Man' to Tower
Courtesy of Disney/Marvel

The Marvel name is golden. It has the ability to lift up marginal superheroes to the ranks of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.

Witness “Ant-Man,” the latest costumed avenger to hit movie screens. Though hardly a household name, the man with the powers of an arthropod should show some box office heft when the adventure film that sports his name debuts to $62 million this weekend. That’s roughly in line with what “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor” did in their initial weekends in theaters, even though “Ant-Man” is a lesser star in the Marvel universe.

“The Marvel brand is strong enough to bring a familiarity to any movie they shepherd to the marketplace,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “It carries weight with an audience. It acts like a sequel would and makes audiences feel more comfortable.”

“Ant-Man” rolls out in 3,800 locations, most of which are in 3D. There will also be 361 Imax and 388 premium large format screenings, giving “Ant-Man” some sizable surcharges.

Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll star in the comic book adaptation, which centers on a down-on-his-luck thief who rediscovers his moral compass after using technology to transform himself into the size of an insect. You know, that old story.

Critics have liked the movie, hailing its witty tone and comparing it to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which mixed humor with action. That’s good news, since some feared “Ant-Man” would struggle to stay quirky after original director Edgar Wright (beloved by geeks everywhere for his Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy) left due to those pesky “creative differences” and was replaced by Peyton Reed (“Bring It On”).

The Disney production cost $130 million to produce, so the studio is banking on fanboys and fangirls across the globe to check out the latest masked vigilante, even if his powers are unorthodox. “Ant-Man” will roll out in 50 territories, where it should pull in an additional $60 million.

Stateside, “Ant-Man” may get overshadowed by “Minions,” Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s animated smash. The “Despicable Me” spinoff should pull in $60 million in its second weekend of release, but if it climbs higher, it could take the top spot from “Ant-Man.”

“Ant-Man” isn’t the only newcomer looking to shoulder in on the summer box office. Amy Schumer will try to take her gimlet-eyed brand of social commentary mainstream as “Trainwreck” debuts in approximately 3,153 theaters. The look at a commitment-phobic woman co-stars Bill Hader, was directed by Judd Apatow and proves that NBA superstar LeBron James is the rare professional athlete who can deliver punchlines. It should pull in between $18 million and $20 million, propelled by strong reviews and Schumer and Apatow’s indefatigable work promoting the movie.

Universal, the studio behind the brash comedy, has been trying to build momentum, hosting a high-profile screening at last spring’s SXSW to generate buzz. Starting early could be critical. R-rated comedies traditionally have been staples of blockbuster season, but this year’s crop of “Ted 2,” “Spy” and “Entourage” haven’t consistently delivered big grosses. “Trainwreck” is a rather modest proposition, however, having cost $35 million to produce, so it doesn’t have to be a blockbuster to enjoy healthy profit margins.

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  1. Marvels Ant Man will be a hit movie and watching out it’s trailers it’s look extremely good. So just waiting for this movie to release.

  2. Candice says:

    Trainwreck is a TERRIBLE TITLE

  3. LOL says:

    “The Marvel brand is strong enough to bring a familiarity to any movie …. [it makes American] audiences feel more comfortable.” Paul Dergarabedian

    Good grief! America has lost the plot. No wonder it loves crap.

    • Julia_Ormond says:

      Oh, look: Another refreshing anti-America cinephile! Never mind the billions total crap like Transformers makes from those with “higher tastes” in Asia. Heck, Die Hard 5 was a HIT over there, even after Americans rejected it like day old meat. But never mind all that – it doesn’t suit your argument, so just erase it from history.

      Sounds like another dour DC fanboy looking to hate on Marvel. I think that soulless trash heap “Man of Steel” is on sale at Wal-Mart this week -if you hurry, you can grab 20 copies.

    • tt says:

      yes, lets forget all those money coming from Asia and Europe that help make Marvel so successful.

  4. Bill B. says:

    I think this is going to be much bigger than they suspect. Everybody seems to have some sort of interest perhaps because it offers something a bit new, much like Guardians did last year. Add in the highly liked Rudd and I think the numbers will be very large.

  5. Cath says:

    Why does it have to be either/or? If I can manage it I will see both this weekend. Wonder if “Minions” will be the best of the three money-wise, although if the Monday morning showing of the little yellow guys is any indiction a lot of people have already seen “Minions.”

  6. Marc F. says:

    Regarding Trainwreck… the pundits underestimated Bridesmaids in the same way… I suspect the headlines Monday will proclaim it outperforming all forecasts and predictions…

  7. Ant-Man a thief? In the comic book I remember he was a scientist named Dr. Henry Pym whose experiments on himself caused his reduction in size. When did Ant-Man become a criminal?

    • Evver says:

      Apparently you haven’t picked up a comic since the sixties… Or, you were too lazy to use Google for approximately 5 seconds. Scott Lang is a former thief, and he’s been Ant Man for nearly 3 decades.

    • Yes, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym in this movie, while Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, his successor as Ant-Man. It’s mentioned in the trailers ….

  8. Jenn t says:

    Antman looks amazing. Can’t wait

  9. Leo Sans says:

    My most anticipated film after Star Wars. I can’t wait to see what this macro cinematography looks like…

  10. Alessio says:

    I have faith Ant-Man can win the weekend at #1 because fans will love it more than critics, because of the fact this will be a movie for all families to enjoy since Minions was seen as a movie for kids only, and also because of the power of the Marvel brand being unstoppable.

  11. Pixworks says:

    Ant-Man better beat Minions!

    • Jimoak says:

      It “better?” I’d love it to, but it definitely doesn’t *need* to. It’s marvel’s cheapest film, and it likely only needs to make barely $290-$310M globally to make a profit. Despite what DC fanboys would have you believe, there’s no stigma to opening in 2nd – Inside Out did, and that’s been a big success.

    • Alessio says:

      Agreed.

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