Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Tops With $58 Million, ‘Trainwreck’ Impresses With $30.2 …

19 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Ant-Man’ director: The superhero tale is ‘a street-level story… I hadn’t really seen’.

“Ant-Man,” Marvel Studios’ new film about a pint-sized superhero, made a big splash at the weekend box office, showing once again that comic-book characters can fill theaters.’Ant-Man’ is the lowest domestic opening for Marvel Studios since ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ while Amy Schumer wins big with ‘Trainwreck'; Woody Allen’s ‘An Irrational Man’ and Bill Condon’s ‘Mr.

‘Ant-Man’ stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, a thief who gets a high-tech suit from a scientist (Michael Douglas) and works with the scientist’s daughter (Evangeline Lilly) to take down an adversary with some special technology of his own (Corey Stoll).For years, this oddball addition to the ever-expanding Marvel movie universe range was slated for direction by Edgar Wright, with a script co-written by fellow Brit Joe Cornish.

Starring Paul Rudd, “Ant-Man” took in $58 million to place first in U.S. and Canadian theaters, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. “Trainwreck,” the raunchy Amy Schumer comedy from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, opened with $30.2 million, while Universal’s “Minions” pulled in $50.2 million in its second week. It is not a little amusing that the two smallest opening weekends in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far are from the biggest and smallest heroes in their ranks at the moment. But when Wright and Marvel parted company in May 2014, leading man Paul Rudd undertook a late-in-the-day rewrite with Anchorman alumnus Adam McKay, while Yes Man’s Peyton Reed stepped into the director’s chair. While Amy Schumer’s female-fueled R-rated comedy Trainwreck overperformed, Disney and Marvel’s Ant-Man came in somewhat behind expectations with $58 million. After assembling the Avengers – twice – and traveling to space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios’ latest endeavor seems like a decidedly small affair, yet it took the studio longer to bring the incredible shrinking superhero to the big screen than it did to boot up Iron Man, enlist Captain America, or nail down Thor for their cinematic debuts.

Unsurprisingly, the resulting film looks like a bodge, torn between the quirkiness of Wright and Cornish’s original vision and the more blandly mainstream sensibilities of its ultimate key players. Last summer, they led the box office with “Guardians of the Galaxy,” featuring an unknown bunch of Marvel misfits that included a tree and a raccoon.

But before we panic too much, we should be aware that Ant-Man was the cheapest film in the MCU thus far, coming in at a comparatively puny $130m for production. The storied history of the “Ant-Man” film goes back eight years when “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuss” director Edgar Wright and writer Joe Cornish were originally attached to the project.

Rudd is ex-con Scott Lang, jailed for a lovably anti-corporate crime, now struggling to hold down a job and reconnect with his estranged daughter (yes, it’s Ant-erstellar, in more ways than one). After working on several drafts of the script, Marvel and Wright declared last May before production was set to start that they had parted ways “due to differences in their vision.” A little over a year later, “Ant-Man” has arrived in theaters to tell the story of how do-gooder thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) inherited a high-tech get-up from scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas).

As much as we might like to think that the Marvel offices are reenacting everyone’s’ favorite scene from Event Horizon (you know the one), that’s not fair and not true. It’s a peculiar superpower of which the film never quite gets the measure: bath-tub terrors and in-briefcase battles are kooky fun, but action sequences in which Scott mounts flying insects smack of Richard Burton riding the wings of a locust in Exorcist II: The Heretic. That’s not an insult, but it’s a cheaper, lighter, and smaller-scale caper that served as something of a Phase 2 epilogue after the epic season finale that was Avengers: Age of Ultron. Truth be told, the Paul Rudd/Michael Douglas/Evangeline Lilly heist adventure played closer to a Phase 1 Marvel movie than the somewhat supercharged Phase 2 entries.

That was a cool arc that I hadn’t really seen in a Marvel movie.” Besides Reed’s last-minute addition, Rudd and his “Anchorman” writer-director pal Adam McKay were tapped to rework the script. As a way of comparison, the first Thor and Captain America installments both opened to roughly $65 million as Marvel went about launching new franchises featuring lesser-known superheroes. Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man stars Rudd as con-man Scott Lang who, armed with a super-suit with the ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, attempts to pull off a heist that will save the world. You have to balance it.” The biggest difference for “Ant-Man,” which centers on Lang’s attempt to nab Cross’ technology, is that it’s as much of a family drama as it is a heist film or superhero flick.

I don’t think Ant-Man is a zeitgeist film and the deluge of PG-13 action fare over the next five weeks (Pixels, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, The Fantastic Four, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hitman: Agent 47) is going to be brutal in terms of demo competition. Thunderstorms and rain in Southern California didn’t seem to dampen moviegoing overall — some theaters even saw a boost in traffic — although Ant-Man didn’t appear to benefit. Rudd will reprise his role in next year’s “Captain America: Civil War,” which depicts a divide between superheroes siding with Cap and those aligning with Iron Man. Conversely, Trainwreck was up on Saturday for a $30.2 million weekend, almost matching Knocked Up ($30.9 million) to mark the best debut of Judd Apatow’s directing career. So yeah, I’m guessing a 2.7x multiplier with an estimated $156m cume here and hopes that it will play like The Wolverine and/or Thor overseas for an over/under $435m worldwide cume, or 3.3x its budget before post-theatrical.

Thanks to females (66 percent), Trainwreck exceeded expectations and is a big win for popular comedian Amy Schumer as she makes her feature film debut. The success of The Avengers took Marvel to a different playing field, and the Phase 2 films have been remarkably successful especially when compared to Phase 1.

The comedy, earning an A- CinemaScore and costing a modest $35 million to make, is the fifth film directed by Apatow, and the first he didn’t also write. The story centers on Schumer’s character, a commitment-phobic career woman who doesn’t believe in monogamy, who may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy. Pixar and Disney’s Inside Out placed No. 4 in is fifth weekend, grossing $11.7 million to jump the $300 million mark domestically with a total of $306.4 million through Sunday and a global cume of $490.1 million. On one hand, the general moviegoers likely didn’t care about the behind-the-scenes gossip (“Edgar who?,” says your average moviegoer of the film’s infamous director switch last year).

And the reviews were “good, not great,” with a number of critics using ESP or travelling to an alternate dimension to view Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man so they could determine that it was clearly superior to Peyton Reed’s version. However, An Irrational Man’s screen average of $37,623 was higher than Allen’s last film, To Rome With Love, which debuted to $361,359 in 17 theaters for a screen average of $24,241. I’ll discuss this tomorrow if time allows, but the film’s mid-credits cookie will surely get everyone’s hopes up for an Ant-Man 2, since it sets up the potential upside of such a sequel as well as any superhero movie since Batman Begins.

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