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Weekend Predictions: How Large Will Ant-Man Grow?

July 16th, 2015

Ant-Man

There could be an interesting race on top of the box office charts this weekend, as Ant-Man will be looking to unseat Minions. However, while I think Ant-Man will come out on top on Friday, I think Minions will repeat over the weekend. The other new release of the week is Trainwreck, which has seen its reviews fall from 100% positive to a mere 90% positive. The amazing reviews and the success of R-rated female-centric films lately suggests it has the potential to reach $100 million. Inside Out and Jurassic World will also both hit milestones, so it should be an exciting weekend. This weekend last year, none of the three wide releases were particularly strong, which left Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in first place for the second weekend in a row with $36.25 million. Both Minions and Ant-Man will top that. Trainwreck might top that as well. It should be a good weekend for 2015 in the year-over-year comparison.

Minions opened last weekend with $115.72 million and it should hold on relatively well this weekend. Granted, its reviews are mixed at 55% positive, but its family-friendly nature and the lack of direct competition means it will very likely have better than average legs. At the worst, it could fall 50% to $58 million, which might not be enough for first place. At the best, it will fall barely more than 40% to $68 million. I seriously doubt it will have a better sophomore hold that Inside Out, so I'm going with $62 million. That will still probably leave it in first place.

Ant-Man should come in second place, but it is tracking high enough that it could surprise analysts and take top spot. It if fails to win the weekend box office race, it would be the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to not open in first place… There are tons of movie journalists who have likely already written a snarky story about the fall of the MCU and are hoping this film doesn't earn first place over the weekend. On a side note, I really hate the straw-critic cliché you see in movies occasionally, but this really fits into the worst of the cliché. It's critics looking for a reason to tear down a film or franchise they don’t like. However, even if the film doesn't earn first place, it is hard to judge Ant-Man as a critical bust, as its reviews are currently 79% positive, and rising. They had dropped to the mid-60s range earlier in the week. As for its box office chances, I'm torn. There's a huge range of possibilities from $75 million on the high end to $50 million on the low end. I'm going with just over $60 million, which will put it in a very close second place.

Trainwreck is the latest film directed by Judd Apatow and it is written by its co-star, Amy Schumer, who has never been more popular. R-rated comedies aimed at women have been surprisingly strong recently and this film’s reviews are a stunning 89% positive. On the downside, it is playing counter-programming to Ant-Man and Minions. Even on the high end, $40 million is out of reach. On the low end, the film will fail to reach $30 million. I want to think that the high end is more likely, but I'm going with $31 million. Given the film's reviews and the target demographic, the film should have strong legs. If it has the same legs as Spy, then it will last long enough to reach $100 million.

Inside Out is on pace to reach $11 million over the weekend, giving it a running tally of over $300 million. This would make it just the third film released in 2015 to reach the $300 million mark and the third such film in Pixar's history.

Jurassic World will be close behind with $10 million over the weekend, pushing it past the $600 million milestone in the process. (In fact, it might get there Thursday night.) It is on pace to overtake The Avengers for third place on the All-Time Domestic Box Office Chart.

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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Minions, Inside Out, Spy!, Trainwreck, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer