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Weekend Box Office: Ant-Man Rules and Trainwreck Anything But

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By Chris Kavan - 07/19/15 at 10:59 PM CT

There wasn't much of a doubt which film was going to take the top of the box office - the only question was how Ant-Man would compare to other Marvel films. The other question was whether Amy Schumer would be able to drive an R-rated comedy to a decent opening. Overall, results were mixed but still good news for Hollywood. The top 12 generated $185.3 million - a 37.4% increase from the same weekend from last year. That also puts the month of July up nearly 29% compared to last year as big action, animation (and now comedy) continue to drive the box office to a steady stream of year-to-year increases.


Marvel's latest origin story may have had a modest debut (in terms of Marvel standards, at least) but even so, Ant-Man has to be considered a success. The $58 million it opened with was a bit lower than the projected $60-$65 million estimates had pegged it at. That is the second-lowest opening for any Marvel film, behind only The Incredible Hulk ($55 million) and it has the lowest per-screen average out of any Marvel film to date. That being said, Ant-Man also cost comparatively less than most Marvel films (if you consider $130 million small) and with an international debut of $56.4 million, it is still going to wind up making money. The toughest thing about Ant-Man was selling the concept of a tiny hero who could control ants. When Edgar Wright was still on board, I figured this was going to be more of a lighthearted take on the superhero genre as opposed to the all-out action we've come to know and love. When he bowed out, things changed a bit, but the film still looks like it's a bit more tongue-in-cheek than a typical Marvel film. Having Paul Rudd as you hero will tend to go in that direction, I guess. Even with Ant-Man's smaller debut, it should still go on to a $150 million plus run - more than double that on the international market - and will have no problem earning back its budget. The audience was 53% under 25 and 63% male and earned a solid "A" Cinemascore. It will have plenty of competition in its demo in the coming weeks, but I think it will hold its own.


The delightful, yellow Minions had a huge opening weekend and that added up to a somewhat larger drop in its second weekend. Minions still banked an impressive $50.2 million in its second weekend - but that represented a 56.6% drop. That was higher than both Despicable Me (41.8%) and its sequel (which dipped 47.8%). Still, Minions has already earned $216.7 million and should pass the original film's $251.5 million by next week and still has a good chance of catching kup to Despicable Me 2 ($368.06 million) before it ends its run. It's biggest challenge (along with Ant-Man) will be the onslaught of PG-13 film coming out that it likely to continue to chip away at its audience.


The biggest surprise of the weekend (in a good way) has to belong to the Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck. The R-rated comedy drew a $30.2 million debut - exceeding its $25 million pre-weekend estimates. Even more so, it drew a largely female audience (66%) who gave it an "A-" Cinemascore. It was the second-biggest opening for director Judd Apatow, and barely coming in behind Knocked Up ($30.9 million). Considering this is the only female-centric film out right now (and will be for a few weeks) this has the potential to stay strong at the box office with a $100 million total given and a $150 million total not entirely out of the question. Schumer was a big draw (with 28% of the audience saying they watched the film just because of her alone). Any question about her star power were pretty much answered over the weekend - we'll see how the drop it next weekend, but I have a feeling this one is going to hold pretty good.


Pixar's darling took a 34% hit in its fifth weekend out, but dropped just one spot to 4th place with $11.6 million. That was enough for the film to cross the $300 million mark as Inside Out now stands at $306.3 million. It is nipping a the heels of Finding Nemo ($339 million) as well as Shrek the Third ($321 million). It will be interesting to see whether Minions will ultimately catch up or pass the film, but one thing is for certain, 2015 has certainly been kinder to families - and they have no problem showing their appreciation.


Rounding out the top five was 2015 behemoth Jurassic World. The film dipped 37.3% in its sixth weekend out and brought in $11.4 million. However, that amount was enough to help the film cross the $600 million mark. Jurassic World stands at $611.1 million on the domestic chart with a whopping $1.513 billion on the global market. That moves the film passed Furious 7 as the top-grossing film of 2015. It will also soon be able to pass The Avengers ($1.519 billion) to become third on the all-time list, trailing only the $2 billion-plus Titanic and Avatar films. Expect this one to cross $625 (also topping the domestic total for The Avengers) before too long.

Outside the top five: At $2.9 million in 9th place, Ted 2 managed to cross the $75 million mark for a new $77.4 million total. That is probably its last milestone to reach, as $100 million seems unlikely at this point.

In limited release. the aging Sherlock Holmes film (titled, Mr. Holmes) with Ian McKellen in the lead, landed in 10th place with a $2.48 million opening on just 363 screens. A nice win for director Bill Condon whose last film, The Fifth Estate, could barely top that amount in its entire run.

Next week Adam Sandler's schlubs vs. classic video game aliens film Pixels comes out, we also have Jake Gyllenhaal teaming up with director Antoine Fuqua in the gritty boxing drama Southpaw and the teen-centric romance/mystery film Paper Towns.


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