Next Friday, the 12th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is unveiled as Ant-Man makes its debut. Unlike some of the more recent entries like the Avengers and Captain America and Thor sequels, there is uncertainty as to how well this one will perform.
The title character (played by Paul Rudd) is certainly not one of the better known comic book heroes in Marvel lore and the film is said to be more comedic than anything previously contained in the MCU. It’s also said to feel smaller in scale than what we’re used to, especially compared to the gargantuan scope of the Ultron pic from two months ago. With that said, early reviews have been mostly solid and it stands at 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. Several critics have noted it should be an audience pleaser.
Peyton Reed directs with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly backing up Rudd in the supporting cast. Ant-Man will attempt to bring in both action fans and families as the studio has done with these pictures on an amazingly consistent basis. In some ways, Ant-Man has some similarities to last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Its box office prospects was met with skepticism for quite a while with some of the same complaints lobbed at it. Too light, too comedic, not enough name recognition for the property. That’s until Guardians picked up scorching word of mouth prior to its release and the result was it became last summer’s biggest grosser.
It would be rather shocking to see Ant-Man approach the $94 million roll out that Guardians enjoyed. There could be a wide range for how this opens. It could exceed projections and see low to mid 80s or it could compete with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk’s $55 million opening for lowest start to any pic in the MCU.
My gut says the more probable scenario is Ant-Man just managing to outdo the premieres of two other Marvel franchise openers, 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, which both made $65 million out of the gate. That puts my estimate in the low to mid 70s, which would be considered a very nice beginning for this next potential franchise.
Ant-Man opening weekend prediction: $73.3 million
For my Trainwreck prediction, click here: