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Box office hits and misses: Marvel’s Ant-Man wins small and Trainwreck is anything but

Walt Disney Pictures and Universal Pictures have dominated this year’s box office so far, and that trend continued over the weekend with the two studios filling every position in the top-five ranking.

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man was the weekend’s big winner with $58 million over its first three days in theaters, and while that puts the film on a good pace to join the studio’s ever-growing list of blockbusters, it’s also the second-lowest opening for any Marvel movie and the lowest since Marvel was acquired by Disney. The size-changing superhero’s debut managed to beat the $55 million opening of 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (which, coincidentally, was distributed by Universal), but fell behind the $65 million of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

Given that Ant-Man is one of the lower-budgeted Marvel movies (with a $130 million budget), its weekend earnings both domestically and internationally — where it earned about $56 million — aren’t giving the studio anything to worry about, and the film’s overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike indicate that it will likely stick around long enough to turn a tidy profit.

As for the rest of the weekend ranking, Universal’s animated spinoff Minions took a big hit in its second weekend in theaters with $50.2 million (a drop of more than 56 percent). The Despicable Me prequel has earned more than $211 million domestically in ten days so far, though, so it’s still on an impressive pace — especially given that it’s earned more than $409 million internationally on top of its U.S. box office earnings. It currently sits at No. 91 on the all-time worldwide box-office rankings, and is slowly moving up the chart.

Amy Schumer’s starring debut in the adult comedy Trainwreck managed to meet expectations for its opening weekend, earning $30.2 million domestically and giving the comedian a warm welcome to the big screen. The fifth film directed by Judd Apatow, Trainwreck ranked just behind the $30.6 million opening weekend for 2007’s Seth Rogen comedy Knocked Up, which went on to earn $219.1 million worldwide. It also ranked well ahead of the $21.4 million opening for Steve Carell’s starring debut in 2005’s Apatow-directed The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which went on to earn $177.4 million worldwide.

Filling out the top five were Pixar’s animated (and very likely award-friendly) feature Inside Out with $11.6 million in its fifth weekend in theaters. This pushed the film across the $300 million mark domestically, making it the fourth film to do so this year — an impressive feat at this point in the year, given that only three films crossed that mark throughout all of 2014, and only four films in 2013.

Hot on the heels of Inside Out was another strong showing for Jurassic World, which added another $11.4 million to its domestic earnings and now sits in fourth place on the all-time domestic box-office ranking with $611.1 million, just after The Avengers. It also occupies fourth place in the all-time worldwide box office with $1.513 billion overall (again, just behind The Avengers), and at its current pace will likely overtake the third-place film on both charts.

As for the rest of the weekend’s domestic box-office rankings, Terminator Genisys added another $5.4 million to its domestic earnings, and was followed by Magic Mike XXL ($4.5 million), surprising horror hit The Gallows ($4 million), and Ted 2 ($2.7 million).

Sir Ian McKellen’s portrayal of an elderly Sherlock Holmes in Mr. Holmes also had a modest debut in theaters with around $2.4 million.

Next weekend, the sci-fi comedy Pixels hits theaters and is expected to do big numbers with its mainstream-friendly cast led by Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Peter Dinklage, as well as two-time Harry Potter director Chris Columbus (Home AloneMrs. Doubtfire).

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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