Considering the amount of fanfare surrounding the release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, I think it's fair to say that in comparison Ant-Man sneaked onto cinema screens over the weekend.
The Marvel origin movie, which sees Paul Rudd taking on the mantle of Ant-Man, generally performed well at the box office, although not quite as well as some box office analysts expected. Ant-Man opened up domestically with a haul of $58,000,000 and an overall global taking of $114,440,000, placing it at the top of the box office. However, although it grabbed the number 1 spot from Minions, it did not match its domestic box office predictions of $60-65 million.
This means that Ant-Man is currently floundering at the poorer end of the Marvel box office spectrum, as it failed to out-perform the Phase 1 origin movies on which analysts based their predictions. It made less than Captain America: The First Avenger ($65.1 million) and Thor ($65.7 million), although it did beat out The Incredible Hulk ($55.4 million). In terms of its overall position in the Marvel financial hierarchy, its opening places it second from last among the 12 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while it ranks 22nd out of the 38 movies (from various studios) which are based on Marvel characters.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Domestic Openings
- 1. The Avengers: $207.4 million
- 2. Avengers: Age of Ultron: $191.3 million
- 3. Iron Man 3: $174.1 million
- 4. Iron Man 2: $128.1 million
- 5. Iron Man: $98.6 million
- 6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: $95 million
- 7. Guardians of the Galaxy: $94.3 million
- 8. Thor: The Dark World: $85.7 million
- 9. Thor: $65.7 million
- 10. Captain America: The First Avenger: $65.1 million
- 11. Ant-Man: $58 million
- 12. The Incredible Hulk: $55.4 million
Although, when compared to other Marvel movies, Ant-Man looks like a failure, Disney is eager to confirm it as a success. Firstly, it still managed to grab the top spot despite lower than expected takings, and secondly, it's currently tracking to make more money in the coming weeks than both Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor. With an 'A' CinemaScore from audiences and strong, if only slightly so, reviews from critics, Ant-Man could be more of a slow-burner than a runaway success akin to Guardians of the Galaxy.
Furthermore, the bar to whether or not Disney considers Ant-Man a bankable success is also lower than with the major Marvel movies. Ant-Man was produced on a budget of $130 million, which is significantly less than the budgets for The Avengers: Age of Ultron ($279.9 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($195.9 million), while it's also less than the budgets of its Phase 1 competitors, Captain America: The First Avenger ($140 million) and Thor ($150 million).
This means to be considered a success worthy of attaining a sequel, Ant-Man would likely only need to make around $260 - 300 million, which is certainly possible considering its stronger performance in international markets.