Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Has Topped ‘Green Lantern’

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ant-Man (3D).

Funny, engaging and entertaining, Marvel’s latest superhero movie is by far their most kid-friendly. The list of male superheroes starring in their own big-screen escapades is bigger than Tony Stark’s ego, and the billions of dollars these films have generated rival the fortunes of the well-off tinkerer. However, in spite of Hollywood’s continued fascination with supermen, a new surge of female power could finally electrify the genre and more closely resemble the audiences of comic book adaptations. He first appeared in the comic book Tales to Astonish #27 (which is cheekily referenced in the film) in 1962 and over the years has been the alter ego of several men.

Then Marvel goes and does a Guardians of the Galaxy movie that blows everyone’s expectations away and they follow that up with an Ant-Man film that’s funny and heartwarming. The characters are complex, charismatic people, whose relationships ebb and flow – convincing players in an otherworldly premise suspending our concept of reality, Once we buy in, well-placed humorous references poke fun at the day-to-day environment we take for granted. This film – unlike Thor: The Dark World or Captain America: The Winter Soldier – does not carry the overt tones of menace, the major scenes of mayhem or heavily dramatic narratives which make those films unsuitable for children despite their love of the characters. That’s the apparent takeaway from Marvel Studios’ latest release, “Ant-Man.” The film concludes with — SPOILER ALERT — Evangeline Lilly’s character, Hope Van Dyne, being bestowed with her late mother’s prototype superhero suit and alter-ego.

While Star-Lord and Iron Man are great favourites, they are both not exactly nice people, but Lang turns out to be good-hearted and motivated by a need to make his young daughter proud of him. When she spots the ensemble, she satisfyingly informs her inventor father, “It’s about damn time.” It likely is, considering 42 percent of “Ant-Man” ticket buyers on opening weekend were women. “It was always intentional to end the movie that way with Hope saying she’s going to be suited up in future adventures,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios. “Over the year since we shot that, it’s taken on a greater meaning out there in the fan community. Well, aside from the clickbait headline (and the reassurance that I have other stuff in the pipeline today), it brings up a fun way to briefly discuss a few minor points in terms of apples-to-apples comparison in terms of box office punditry. Marvel churns out movies faster than Apple churns out iPhones, but it seems they have found the formula to have both quantity and quality, and this is proven again with the latest MCU instalment – Ant-Man. Rudd doesn’t try to play his character as heroic, underplaying what he does in favour of why he does it – his character is trying to do the right thing, but circumstances keep on thwarting him.

It’s more relevant now than it’s ever been.” Over the past seven years of interconnected Marvel superhero movies, female characters who are not codenamed Black Widow have mostly been relegated to the sidelines as love interests, sidekicks, damsels in distress or all of the above, making Hope’s parting words resonate beyond the screen for viewers who’ve long been dissatisfied with the lack of female superheroes in movies, despite their decades-long histories in comics. Lang made a first appearance as comic book Ant-Man in 1979, the same year that the character made his live-action debut on Saturday Night Live in the sketch Superhero Party. A little more… compact in its action and focusing rather on credible story development than some of the other Avengers movies, Ant-Man brings to the fore another section of S.H.I.E.L.D’s history and their rocky moral compass while introducing another witty funny guy, but this time he’s at least incredibly nice. This is an origins story meets passing the baton tale, as Douglas’s Dr Hank Pym enlists the help of would-be reformed thief Lang to don the suit which will shrink him down to the size of an ant. Scarlett Johansson’s shadowy agent Black Widow is no longer the sole Marvel movie heroine following the introduction of Zoe Saldana’s alien assassin Gamora in last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Elizabeth Olsen’s mind-bending Scarlet Witch earlier this year in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and Lilly’s winged Wasp at the end of “Ant-Man.” “Their intentions are in the right place,” Lilly said. “They just have to get there.

I would never have guessed that getting this film completed was a ten-year ordeal involving numerous rewrites and “musical chairs” changes of directors and cast. While the story is situated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to various known characters who pop up (stay for the post-credit scene), this isn’t overstuffed with super- heroes like Avengers: Age of Ultron, it plays the storyline on as small a scale as the character suggests. I’m really honored and excited to be part of that, to be one of the pioneering women within the superhero realm, to represent strong women and put more of a female presence into these movies.” Andrea Letamendi, a psychologist and comic book expert who recently participated in a talk at San Diego Comic-Con titled, “Building the Modern (Super)Heroine,” was disappointed that the filmmakers stopped short of having Lilly’s character actually don the Wasp’s get-up and help save the day alongside Ant-Man. “When women don’t see ourselves represented in an important role, for instance as a superhero, we begin to question our value in society,” said Letamendi. “It’s surprising that we’re still considering that, but it’s very true. Yet despite the fact that all of these films opened just over/under $55m, they had vastly different box office trajectories and their overall performance led to wholly different long term outcomes. Anyway, Lang is played by Paul Rudd in the film and he will also star in Captain America: Civil War – though you have to wonder how closely the makers will stick to the comic books.

The clinical term for it is symbolic annihilation, and it has a damaging effect, especially on younger audiences.” Letamendi commended Marvel for including smart, savvy female characters, such as Thor’s astrophysicist girlfriend Jane Foster and Tony Stark’s CEO significant other Pepper Potts, in past films, although she said it would be more socially beneficial for viewers to see women serve as actual superheroes or — better yet — lead the charge against all those killer robots and aliens. As of now, the closest comparison point is X-Men: First Class, which 20th Century Fox opened in glorious 2D with $55 million on its way to an eventual $146m domestic cume (and $353m worldwide) on a $160m budget.

Ant-Man is at one point killed by the Scarlet Witch, returned to life at a later point and then killed again in the Avengers Disassemble storyline, retconned and yes, the hits just keep on coming. And interestingly, to Pymm the wrong hands also includes Stark Industries and the Avengers, nicely setting up in a small way the next MCU film, Civil War. Financially, solely focusing on female superheroes has never boosted the bottom line for movie studios. “Supergirl,” ”Elektra” and “Catwoman” each failed to dazzle audiences or critics, but that was more than a decade ago before the current superhero boom.

Despite a relatively soft number, it earned rave reviews and jumpstarted fan faith in the long-running franchise and that goodwill paid off with X-Men: Days of Future Past last summer. Instead of city-wide destruction following the wake of ‘heroes trying to save the world’, Ant-Man shrinks that destruction down to mostly a company headquarters, a house and some underground ant tunnels.

Plus, he can punch with as much force as a normal-sized human when shrunk and his helmet helps him to amplify his voice so regular people can hear him. Much of the action takes place on the micro scale, which is also part of what makes this film so kid-friendly – there is not as much wholesale destruction of property, life and limb as is displayed in other Marvel movies. She’ll first pop up as the DC Comics character in next year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The demigod will later join several male superheroes for a two-part “Justice League” film series. While Reed is credited as the director, Edgar Wright’s touch is still evident in the framing, dramatic camera angles and comedic link between visuals and sound, and he is given an executive producer credit. It spawned a sequel (Rise of the Silver Surfer) two years later that cost a little more ($130m), opened a little bigger ($58m) but did a little worse here and abroad ($131m/$288m).

Utilising Rudd’s comedic repertoire to the full (he was even on the writing team for the script), Scott is the kind of thief that apologises as he makes off with a priceless jewel. But the Zack Snyder film cost $150m and we all knew that the legs would be nonexistent, and they were worse than that with a $107m domestic total and $185m worldwide cume. The rest of the writers – Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), Adam McKay (Saturday Night Live) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) – have proven themselves a great team in adapting the comics to the big screen, but still adding their own unique touch to the film.

Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. No superhero is complete without his partners-in-crime, and in this case literally, Lang’s crew of miscreants are pretty loveable, especially Michael Pena as Lang’s ex-cellmate. The question of just how female superheroes can fare on their own with modern audiences will be tested later this year, not in theaters but on small screens.

Normally I would think this would be a “too many cooks” situation by now, that the screenplay would be disjointed and stale from too many rewrites. Marvel really gets it right when casting kid actors, and Cassie is more than just a plot device, but has her own character that blossoms on the screen. And to this day, considering how many big budget disasters still manage to scrape up $250m-$300m worldwide, I’m still shocked at how poorly Green Lantern did not just here but overseas as well.

As always, there are two end-credit scenes (middle credits and end of credits) so hold off on that run for the cinema’s bathroom until all the credits are done. Yet special effects teams worked intensely, using the very science of physics that is central to the story’s theme to shoot the backgrounds for shrunken Ant-Man’s point-of-view. Heck, inflation and 3D bump aside, it will likely surpass the $374m total of Batman Begins, the $391m total of Superman Returns, and the $385m cume of the first Star Trek. Domestically, it’s heading towards a $150m-$175m total, and worldwide is a frustratingly open question since it doesn’t open in Greece, China, and Japan until September. And they are doing that on an opening weekend that was all-too-similar to a number of lower-profile or outright lower-grossing comic book superhero movies from the last decade.

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