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ANT-MAN's $58M Opening Weekend: Big for the Weekend, Tiny for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ant-Man closed out Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a $58 million opening weekend. It was actually the second smallest opening weekend in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranking ahead of only The Incredible Hulk's $55.4 million.

That said, Ant-Man's $58 million opener is still really good, especially for a character that most people aren't familiar with. When Warner Bros. launches Wonder Woman, The Flash and Shazam over the next few years, they're going to celebrate an opening weekend in this neighborhood.

Ever since The Avengers grossed $207.4 million when it opened in 2012, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been living at a higher box office altitude. With all the new franchises Marvel Studios is introducing — Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Doctor Strange — that level of performance was never going to be sustainable.

Don't worry about Marvel though. They're going to be just fine thanks to upcoming Avengers, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy sequels. Those movies will more than fill Tony Stark's Money Bin, allowing Marvel the freedom to introduce new standalone movies that gross (sigh) just $58 million their opening weekends.

Ant-Man's opening weekend also set a bunch of personal records for the film's cast and crew. The movie's $58 million opening beat Paul Rudd's previous live-action debut weekend (Knocked Up's $30.7 million) and Michael Douglas' previous opening weekend record (You, Me and Dupree's $21.5 million). Director Peyton Reed also set a personal best, topping the $39.2 million that The Break-Up grossed when it debuted in 2006.

The other big story of the weekend was Trainwreck. Amy Schumer solidified her place as one of the biggest names in pop culture at the moment thanks to a $30.2 million opening weekend. Based on the weekend estimates, this is just short of director Judd Apatow's previous best opener, which was also Knocked Up.

It was a milestone weekend for two other movies. Jurassic World grossed $11.4 million to become the fourth movie in history to crack $600 million at the domestic box office. The movie trails only  The Avengers ($623.4 million), Titanic ($658.7 million) and Avatar in its sites ($760.5 million). Jurassic World should be able to pass The Avengers over the next week. Is passing Titanic doable?

Inside Out broke the $300 million domestic mark. The film joins Toy Story 3 ($415 million) and Finding Nemo ($339.7 million) as the only Pixar movies to accomplish that feat.

ANT-MAN's $58M Opening Weekend: Big for the Weekend, Tiny for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 7/19/2015 Rating: 5

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