‘Ant Man’ shows box of­fice heft with $58M de­but

Schumer’s ‘ Train­wreck’ opens with $30.2M

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT / TV HIGHLIGHTS• -

Marvel’s “Ant-Man’’ punched above its weight at the week­end box of­fice, de­but­ing with an es­ti­mated $58 mil­lion, while Amy Schumer’s “Train­wreck’’ also opened strongly with $30.2 mil­lion.

The re­sult for “Ant-Man’’ didn’t match some of Marvel’s bet­ter known and brawnier prop­er­ties. But “Ant-Man’’ — a rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive su­per­hero movie with a $130 mil­lion bud­get — still dom­i­nated North Amer­i­can mul­ti­plexes, edg­ing out the lit­tle yel­low guys of Uni­ver­sal’s “Minions,’’ which took in $50.2 mil­lion in its sec­ond week.

“Ant-Man,’’ star­ring Paul Rudd as a slightly more ir­rev­er­ent and dis­tinctly smaller su­per­hero, came in a lit­tle be­low ear­lier stand-alone Marvel films like “Thor’’ ($65.7 mil­lion in 2011) and “Cap­tain Amer­ica: The First Avenger’’ ($65.1 mil­lion in 2011).

Dave Hol­lis, head of dis­tri­bu­tion at Dis­ney, cred­ited Marvel for suc­cess­fully ex­pand­ing its uni­verse both in tone and au­di­ence makeup. The movie, a more hu­mor­ous heist film, ap­pealed more to women (42 per cent of the au­di­ence) and fam­i­lies (28 per cent) than most Marvel re­leases.

“Most en­cour­ag­ingly in this one, the exit scores we’re see­ing from women — their like­li­hood to rec­om­mend and how much they en­joyed the film — was higher here than al­most any film we’ve had,’’ Hol­lis said. “It’s a great sign for what word of mouth should be for the run, but, two, what it means for how women think about these movies be­ing for them as much as men might.’’

The next ques­tion will be whether the re­sult was strong enough to kick start an “Ant-Man 2.’’ Though “Ant-Man’’ had a rocky path to the screen, with di­rec­tor Pey­ton Reed re­plac­ing Edgar Wright shortly be­fore shoot­ing com­menced, its Cine­maS­core from au­di­ences is an A. It took in $56.4 mil­lion abroad.

The open­ing was clos­est to 2008’s “The In­cred­i­ble Hulk’’ ($55 mil­lion), the poorly re­ceived Ed­ward Nor­ton edi­tion that didn’t spawn fur­ther in­stall­ments. Rudd is al­ready to ap­pear as Ant-Man in “Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War.’’

“I say this was a suc­cess,’’ said Paul Der­garabe­dian, Ren­trak’s se­nior media an­a­lyst. “This was never pre­des­tined to open with $80 (mil­lion) or $100 mil­lion. Marvel con­tin­ues to evolve and sur­prised the au­di­ence. This was about a per­fectly solid re­sult for a brand new prop­erty.’’

The $30.2 mil­lion open­ing for Schumer’s big-screen de­but, “Train­wreck,’’ which the co­me­dian also wrote, earned an es­ti­mated $30.2 mil­lion, mak­ing the R-rated Uni­ver­sal re­lease one of the big­gest com­edy suc­cesses this sum­mer. It’s also the sec­ond best open­ing for Judd Apa­tow as a di­rec­tor fol­low­ing “Knocked Up.’’

Al­ready a crit­i­cally ac­claimed star on Com­edy Cen­tral for her sketch show “In­side Amy Schumer,’’ Schumer’s tran­si­tion to movies has drawn good re­views and opened above ex­pec­ta­tions, fur­ther show­ing the power of fe­male movie­go­ers. The au­di­ence was two-thirds women, Uni­ver­sal said.

“Amy Schumer is an ab­so­lute tal­ent and should have a great ca­reer in the movies,’’ said Nick Car­pou, dis­tri­bu­tion head for Uni­ver­sal. “The char­ac­ter that she por­trays very ef­fec­tively en­ables mod­ern women.’’

Open­ing in just five lo­ca­tions was Woody Allen’s “Ir­ra­tional Man,’’ star­ring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone. The Sony Pic­tures Clas­sic re­lease packed those the­atres for an av­er­age of $37,623 per screen.

AP PHOTO

Michael Dou­glas, Paul Rudd and Michael Pena pose for pho­tog­ra­phers upon ar­rival at the Ant-Man Euro­pean pre­miere in Lon­don, Wed­nes­day, July 8, 2015.

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