Disney-Marvel’s “Ant-Man” is marching to a solid $65 million weekend at the U.S. box office while Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” is overperforming with a $35 million launch frame, according to early Friday estimates.
“Ant-Man” took in $6.4 million in Thursday-night preview screenings — comparable to the $6.2 million for Universal-Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions.” Forecasts for “Ant-Man” had been in the $60 million to $65 million range at 3,856 locations, most of which are in 3D.
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.
“Ant-Man” carries a $130 million pricetag and is also opening in 50 foreign markets this weekend.
“Trainwreck” launched with $1.8 million in Thursday night previews. Early Friday numbers from matinees indicated that the raunchy comedy will outperform forecasts, which were in the $18 million to $22 million range. The well-reviewed “Trainwreck” looks likely to exceed the first weekend of Fox’s R-rated “Spy,” which opened with a $29 million on June 5-7. “Spy,” which was similarly embraced by critics, showed impressive staying power and has hit $105 million.
Schumer plays a hard-drinking, commitment-phobic woman in the film. Also starring are Bill Hader and 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 with a market share well above 25%.