Disney-Marvel’s “Ant-Man” marched to a mighty $6.4 million on Thursday night.
The earnings are comparable to those of 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which opened with $7.1 million in Thursday latenight screenings on its way to an $85.7 million opening weekend, and Universal-Illumnation Entertainment’s “Minions,” with $6.2 million in previews as part of a $115.8 million launch last weekend. Imax and premium large format showtimes represented 48% of ticket sales for “Ant-Man” in the previews.
“Ant-Man” is headed for a weekend in the $60 million to $65 million range from 3,856 locations, most of which are in 3D. The movie is also opening in 50 international markets.
Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll star in the comic book adaptation, directed by Peyton Reed. Rudd plays a down-on-his-luck thief who uses technology to transform himself into the size of an insect.
The film, which screened at 2,363 theaters starting at 8 p.m., has been forecast to earn $18 million to $20 million this weekend in 3,157 locations. The preview number is significantly better than that of Fox’s “Spy,” which took in $1.5 million in Thursday night screenings that started at 5 p.m. on its way to a $29 million opening weekend.
Schumer plays a commitment-phobic woman in the well-reviewed comedy. Bill Hader co-stars along with NBA superstar LeBron James, who makes his acting debut.
Universal and Schumer have been actively promoting “Trainwreck,” starting with a high-profile screening at March’s SXSW to generate buzz. “Trainwreck,” directed by R-rated comedy specialist Judd Apatow, cost a relatively modest $35 million to produce.
The second weekend of “Minions” should finish a close second with $55 million, dropping about 52% from last weekend’s stellar launch. The animated spinoff will likely close the weekend with a cume of $220 million as Universal continues to dominate the domestic box office this year.