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Friday Estimates: Ant-Man Stands Tall on Opening Friday

July 18th, 2015


Ant-Man opened in first place with $22.64 million on Friday, which puts it well ahead of Minions on the Friday box office chart. On the other hand, it was a little disappointing compared to expectations. Figuring out where it will end up is deceptively tricky given the number of other Marvel Cinematic Universe films to compare it to. Ant-Man's reviews continued to tick up, and are now at 80% positive—in the same range as the first Captain America movie. It also had a similar opening day to that film. However, Captain America opened before The Avengers and one could argue that every film after that should be considered a sequel, which would tend them towards being even more front-loaded than original films. Factoring that in, look for Ant-Man to post around $56 million over its opening weekend, which will give it an easy first place debut. Unless its legs are as long as Guardians of the Galaxy’s, it won't reach $200 million in total, but it should top its budget (reportedly $130 million) so it will become a box office success. Analysts hoping for the first MCU bomb will have to wait.

Meanwhile, Minions fell 68% from its opening Friday to $14.6 million. That’s a much bigger drop than most animated films deal with; in fact, it is bigger than some live action blockbusters suffer. By comparison, Inside Out fell 56% Friday-over-Friday on its way to a 42% sophomore decline. Minions doesn't have the same reviews, so it won’t recover as much. Look for a weekend total of $46 million for a ten-day total of $212 million. This keeps it well above Despicable Me 2’s pace of $184.48 million, but I don’t know if that lead will last very long. In the end, Minions might fail to match its predecessor, which means it will need to rely on international numbers to reach $1 billion.

Trainwreck posted an opening day of $10.7 million. This is better than Spy! earned on its first Friday, but I wouldn’t get too excited just yet, as the difference was just $400,000. Spy! also earned stronger reviews at 95% positive to 85% positive. If we assume a similar internal multiplier, Trainwreck should earn just under $30 million over the weekend, which is close enough to Friday’s predictions to call it a victory, and well ahead of original expectations of around $15 million to $20 milion. It also leaves $100 million domestically a reasonable target to aim for. If more studios don’t have a lot more female-centric films like this in the works, they are missing out on a serious market.

One last note: Jurassic World topped $600 million on Friday, just 36 days into its run. This tops the previous record for Fastest to $600 million by 11 days. On the other hand, the day Avatar broke the $600 million milestone, it was still in first place, while Jurassic World was in fifth place on Friday and is much closer to wrapping up its run. Meanwhile, Inside Out is just $2 million short of $300 million and it will get there on Saturday.

- Friday Estimates

Filed under: Friday Night Box Office, Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Minions, Inside Out, Spy!, Trainwreck, Marvel Cinematic Universe