“Ant-Man” blew up at the box office this Friday, raking in an impressive $22.6 million from 3,856 theaters, which puts in on track for a debut weekend of $58 million for Disney/Marvel.
Second place goes to Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions,” which took in a solid $14.6 million at the Friday night box office and seems headed for a $47 million second weekend.
The other opening this weekend, the modestly budgeted R-rated comedy, “Trainwreck” starring Amy Schumer, exceeded expectations at the box office, with $10.7 million from 3,158 theaters. “Trainwreck” made $1.8 million on Thursday night.
Two longtime holdovers are duking it out for fourth place: Universal’s “Jurassic World” and Disney’s “Inside Out” each grossed about $10 million on Friday.
While “Ant-Man” is on track for a strong opening, it seems to be coming in slightly under analysts’ projections of $60 to $65 million. On Friday night, the movie got a boost from 3D showings, which accounted for $8.9 million or 41 percent of the total gross.
This would mark the 12th consecutive No. 1 opening for a Marvel superhero movie since “Iron Man” began the streak in 2008. The list is topped by Marvel’s “The Avengers,” which grossed $207 million in its opening weekend in 2012.
Rentrak’s PostTrack audience exit polls showed 52 percent of people going to see “Ant-Man” were under the age of 25, and 60 percent of the entire audience were male. The film is earning a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
“Trainwreck”s’ audience was primarily over the age of 25 (58 percent), and 67 percent female. Their primary reason for attending was to see Schumer in the lead role, and the film is earning a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The CinemaScore for “Ant-Man” was an impressive “A,” while “Trainwreck” received a score of “A-.” Moreover, the latter has one of the highest Rotten Tomatoes ratings of the summer, with Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out” snagging No. 1.
“Ant-Man” looks to finish just above “The Incredible Hulk,” which grossed $55.4 million its opening weekend back in 2008. The last Marvel release, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” opened with $191 million domestically before going on to top $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
Director Peyton Reed‘s film follows Scott Lang (Rudd), who manages to steal a high-tech suit developed by retired scientist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) that allows its wearer to shrink in size but increase their strength and power.
The history of “Ant-Man” is an interesting one as well. Development of the film began in April 2006 when Edgar Wright was hired to write the screenplay. However, shooting was put on hold until October 2013 so that Wright could complete “The World’s End.”
Casting commenced in December 2013 with the hiring of Rudd to play Lang — however, in May 2014, Wright left the project due to creative differences. He still received screenplay and story credits alongside Joe Cornish.
“Trainwreck,” with a production budget of $35 million, is well on its way to a $30 million debut weekend, well above tracking projections of around $20 million.
Amy Schumer wrote the screenplay and stars as a sports journalist whose rejection of monogamy is tested when she meets a sports doctor played by Bill Hader. In addition to directing, Judd Apatow produced alongside Barry Mendel.
The movie acts as a debut for all of the three main characters; Schumer having been a comedian and TV star, Hader usually playing the sidekick role, and Lebron James breaking into the film industry all together.
“Magic Mike XXL,” another R-rated comedy aimed at women, seriously underperformed at the box office earlier this month. But the studio is clearly hoping to mimic the success of “Bridesmaids,” another Apatow-produced R-rated comedy that raked in $26.2 million its opening weekend.