For those invested in fighting the “superhero fatigue is a myth” mantra, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” helped this weekend. Its opening last week was good but not amazing—Marvel’s second lowest grossing opening ever (lowest if you count inflation). Let’s be honest, it’s “Ant-Man” for crying out loud, not the most celebrated hero of all time. “Ant-Man” eked out a win for the number one slot with almost $23 million, but to boast “two weeks at #1” is quite an accomplishment. “Ant-Man” business is doing… ok, but this isn’t necessarily true by Marvel standards. The movie has crossed the $100 million mark at home (good), and has grossed $226 million worldwide (very good). The test is that it has to be considered within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even if it’s a decidedly more modest picture. It will certainly outgross “The Incredible Hulk” domestically and globally ($263.4M ww), but perhaps not “Captain America: The First Avenger” which had the third lowest global gross at $376 million, if the international numbers don’t get better. Domestically, it may hit the $200 million mark, which would match it around “Thor: The Dark World” which is the 8th highest grossing Marvel picture of 12 films so far. Not amazing by any standards, but let’s give it some breathing room and see how it performs over the rest of the summer.
Universal‘s banner year continues this summer with “Minions” leading the charge. It’s been in theaters for three weeks and it’s already grossed $759 million round the world. Expect lots more sequels from this franchise spin-off. In week two, Uni’s “Trainwreck,” had a good hold, only dropping 42.5% and taking in another $17.3 million. At $61.5 million domestically so far, passing $100 million should be easy.
Negative reviews were the name of the game for all the new releases this weekend, but as usual, Adam Sandler proved his days of being review-proof are behind him. The sci-fi, high-concept nature of his latest, “Pixels,” directed by Chris Columbus, at least was a step up from his last two disastrous openings of “That’s My Boy” and “Blended” (neither of which opened to more than $15 million). At $24 million, the “Pixel” opening was more in line with 2011’s “Jack & Jill,” not a superb showing, but a movie that went on to gross $75 million domestically which is a good figure for a summer comedy of that ilk. Sandler’s certainly been on the decline, and his days of $135 million grossing comedies—there was a string of them—are pretty much done. Lucky for him, the films have a good shelf life on DVD, which is probably why Sandler set up shop at Netflix. His next four films will debut on the streaming network, perhaps much to the chagrin of schaudenfreude-y box-office pundits.
Poor reviews for The Weinstein Company’s “Southpaw” and Fox’s “Paper Towns” didn’t help these films either. Fox was certainly hoping that their YA mystery romance film would replicate the success of “The Fault in Our Stars,” another feel-all-the-feels YA adaptation from John Green. But “Paper Towns” couldn’t even open to half of what ‘Fault’ grossed last year in its opening weekend ($48 million). On 3000-plus screens, “Paper Towns” took in a measly $12.5 million, likely a huge disappointment if they were expecting anything remotely similar. Actor Natt Wolf (up for the ‘Spider-Man’ gig at one point) seems poised to be a breakout YA star, but perhaps he’s not ready for prime time yet. “Southpaw” fared slightly better in comparison, but $16.5 million from 2,700 screens off a movie the studio head believes will score the lead (Jake Gyllenhaal) an Oscar nomination. Still, one could argue, a comparable drama released in the fall in limited release might eventually hit the same $40-50 million total gross, so perhaps it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. Time will tell what the long haul looks like for this film.
Elsewhere, “Inside Out” is at $320 million domestically and might be able to hit the $350 million mark at this rate (which would best 2014’s highest grossing domestic film, “American Sniper”). Foreign grosses are starting to catch up: worldwide the Pixar film is at $550 million, which makes it the fourth highest grossing movie for the animated studio ever (but it’s never going to get close to the insane worldwide totals of “Finding Nemo” or “Toy Story 3”). Domestically, it’s the third highest of Pixar’s lot, having surpassed “Up” long ago.
At $623 million domestically, “Jurassic World” is the third highest grossing film ever both domestically and worldwide. Catching up globally to spot #1 or #2 is out of the question, but at home Universal’s dino juggernaut is only $35 million away from surpassing James Cameron’s “Titanic.” It’s been in theaters for seven weekends—can the dinos pull it off? Considering it made almost another $7 million this weekend and only fell -39.8% in its seventh week, it’s very doable, arguably inevitable. Let’s not forget a big blockbuster like “Guardians Of The Galaxy” stayed in U.S. theaters for 25 weekends. Even another 10 at this rate should do it.
“Mr. Holmes” is doing good business, which is solid news for counter-programming dramas targeting an older demo; in week two the movie has already made $6.4 million. Considering its economics, which likely aren’t high, the Ian McKellen picture is already a success. Things are looking much less positive for “Terminator Genisys” and it seems that the film won’t cross the $100 million mark. At $85.6 million currently and already falling out of the top ten, domestically this franchise is a non-starter. ‘Genisys’ globally has already hit $305 million. If it hits $400, which seems doable, plus home video and digital rentals, that could justify a sequel (“Terminator: Salvation” only grossed $371 million globally).
In limited release, both IFC Films and Broad Green Pictures did decent indie business: the former’s “Phoenix” (a terrific film, by the way), grossed $28K from two screens for a not amazing, but still good $14,000 per screen average and the latter, “Samba” took $24k from two screens for a $12,00 PSA. In a smaller, limbo-esque release of 427 screens, no one really cared or showed up for Lionsgate‘s “The Vatican Tapes,” which took in $850K for a very poor $1,991 PSA.
1. Ant-Man — $24,765,000 ($106,075,000)
2. Pixels — $24,000,000
3. Minions — $22,100,000 ($261,620,000)
4. Trainwreck —$17,300,000 ($61,545,000)
5. Southpaw — $16,500,000
6. Paper Towns — $12,500,000
7. Inside Out — $7,356,000 ($320,335,000)
8. Jurassic World — $6,900,000 ($623,803,000)
9. Mr. Holmes — $2,849,000 ($6,432,000)
10. Terminator: Genisys — $2,400,000 ($85,666,000)