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Ant-Man tops US box office with second lowest opening for Marvel title

Ant-Man, Paul Rudd

Story by Jack Foley

MARVEL’S Ant-Man has topped the US box office with $58 million but still suffered the indignity of having posted one of the studio’s lowest figures since the brand launched its cinematic universe.

The Paul Rudd star vehicle posted the second lowest debut for Marvel since The Incredible Hulk with $55.4 million.

However, the news was much better overseas, where the film earned $56.4 million from its first 37 markets (including the UK), well ahead of both the first Captain America and Thor, and bringing its global total to a much more impressive $114.4 million.

That means that plans for a franchise for the little superhero could yet remain firmly on track, particularly as the character looks set to form an integral part of the Avengers universe.

In the US, Ant-Man was also up against an incredibly strong field of movies, with holdover titles such as Minions and Jurassic World still pulling in the crowds and another new release, Amy Schumer’s female-fueled R-rated comedy Trainwreck, over-performing with $30.2 million.

Commenting on the Ant-Man performance, Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief, said: “This is a great start, albeit not as big as some people said it would be, and Marvel has once again successfully expanded its stable of characters in a way that makes its universe fresh.”

He added that the film had also managed to attract the largest share of families (28%) and women (32%) of any Marvel superhero title, which may give it more traction over future weekends.

The success of Trainwreck, however, confirms what a great year Universal is having. The film cost a modest $35 million to make but almost matched the success of Knocked Up ($30.9 million), which still rates as the best debut of Judd Apatow’s directing career.

The critically-acclaimed Trainwreck focuses 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 in the form of Bill Hader.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Minions continued to perform really well in its second weekend, sliding from top spot to second with $50.2 million to bring its US total to $216.7 million.

While Pixar and Disney’s Inside Out placed fourth in is fifth weekend, grossing $11.7 million to jump the $300 million mark in the US with a total of $306.4 million, and Jurassic World rounded out the top five in its sixth outing with $11.4 million for a US haul of $611.1 million.

Internationally, the dinosaur blockbuster has now jumped the $900 million mark to finish Sunday with an estimated $1.513, overtaking fellow Universal title Fast & Furious 7 to become the fourth title of all time.

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