Box Office: Ant-Man Topples Minions With $58 Million Opening And Trainwreck Earns $30.2 Million

Ant-Man movie banner

This may very well be the summer of Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures. It’s definitely Universal’s year as far as franchises and earnings are concerned. Both studios occupy the top five spots this weekend with the arrivals of Ant-Man (read our review) and Trainwreck, along with returning hits Minions (last week’s #1), Inside Out, and Jurassic World.

The winner of the weekend was Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man. Early estimates have it with $58 million, which is not far removed from the prediction I included at the end of last week’s box office report.

I don’t think Ant-Man [will] reach the opening heights of last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy ($94M). A $60M+ opening wouldn’t be surprising, but a figure less than that would be seen as a disappointment for Marvel Studios.

But is it a disappointment? I’m sure the executives aren’t happy with the opening number (though it performed just well enough to give Marvel its 12th consecutive first place opening. Disney’s Pixar had its string of first place openings snapped a few weeks ago when Inside Out failed opposite those dinosaurs in Jurassic World). Overseas, the Ant-Man opening nearly mirrored the US with $56.4 million in territories like France, Russia, and the UK (China and Japan, et al. to follow in the weeks to come).

Its “A” CinemaScore rating from audiences is a good sign that Ant-Man will have good word of mouth to bring it above $100 million. A $170+ million finish like Captain America: The First Avenger isn’t out of the question, but $150 million seems more realistic.

After posting an opening weekend of $115.7 million (giving it the fifth highest weekend total for the month of July all time), Minions had a sizable chunk of its audience removed finishing with $50.2 million while crossing $200 million in ten days. Losing 56% of your first weekend audience is tough, and I wonder if it can make it to the 300 club of films this summer that have made $300 million or more in the US.

Third place was Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck (read our reviews). This was the first feature he directed that he didn’t also write the screenplay. That honor went to Amy Schumer. The pairing worked as it opened to $30.2 million which is near the opening figure of 2007’s Knocked Up, a comedy that would become Apatow’s most successful release as a director (it finished with $217 million worldwide).

Inside Out and Jurassic World have been playing a fun game of leap frog in the box office rankings with the two films changing slots as they move down the top 10. Pixar’s latest crossed $300 million in the US, while Jurassic World became just the third movie to eclipse $600 million in US earnings. Look out Avengers, these dinosaurs are closing in on becoming the third-highest grossing movie ever.

Sneaking in to the top 10 with a $2.4 million weekend was the Roadside Attractions release Mr. Holmes starring Sir Ian McKellen as the famed sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. The opening bettered RA’s other hit summer release, Love & Mercy, which opened to $2.1 million back in June.

Outside of the top 10, Sony Pictures Classics released Woody Allen’s latest, Irrational Man in five theaters in New York and L.A. where it grossed $188k (or $37,600 per location). That figure is considerably less than the six-figure per screen averages Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine achieved when SPC released them.

Upcoming this weekend we have the pugilist pic Southpaw from Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as Adam Sandler’s Pixels and the latest John Green novel to be adapted to film, Paper Towns. My gut tells me that Paper Towns will beat Sandler and company (Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage) to take the weekend with a $35 to $45 million opening. Pixels will be neck and neck with Ant-Man with between $25 to $30 million.

Top 10 below.

1. Ant-Man – $58 Million
2. Minions – $50.2 Million ($216.7 Million)
3. Trainwreck – $30.2 Million
4. Inside Out – $11.6 Million ($306.3 Million)
5. Jurassic World – $11.4 Million ($611 Million)
6. Terminator: Genisys – $5.4 Million ($80.6 Million)
7. Magic Mike XXL – $4.5 Million ($58.6 Million)
8. The Gallows – $4 Million ($18 Million)
9. Ted 2 – $2.7 Million ($77.4 Million)
10. Mr. Holmes – $2.48 Million

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