Big open­ing

‘Ant-Man’ takes charge in open­ing week­end.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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 Cin­ema-Score 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.

The Road­side At­trac­tions and Mi­ra­max re­lease “Mr. Holmes,” star­ring Ian McKellen as an aged Sher­lock Holmes, de­buted with $2.5 mil­lion in 363 the­atres.

AP PHOTO

This photo pro­vided by Dis­ney shows Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in a scene from Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The film, which re­leased in the U.S. on Fri­day, led the week­end box of­fice race

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