As you might’ve heard it by now that Ant-Man has just posted 2nd smallest weekend in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s history. Early predictions were in range of $65 million but Marvel’s tiny hero managed to pull just $58 million over the weekend. Internationally, it picked up $56 million in almost 50 markets putting up a total of $114 worldwide. But with an ‘A’ Cinemascore, “Marvel Studios” tag & 80% rotten tomatoes approval, why did the movie had the lowest adjusted weekend for Marvel? Well, here are the possible six reasons why.
1. THE TROUBLED PRODUCTION: The offbeat superhero has had a long, bumpy path to the big screen with directors switching during its pre-production from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed, The offbeat superhero has had a long, bumpy path to the big screen with directors switching during its pre-production from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed, all along stirring up scepticism in the industry about the property’s potential to deliver. All this resulted in negative publicity of the film which ultimately hurt it badly.
2. Who is Ant-Man?: Apart from the comic fan-boys, nobody had heard about this tiny hero before, if they went to see this movie that’s only because of the Marvel brand, the quirky trailers, and the brand name value of star Paul Rudd. On the other hand, they probably didn’t care all that much about Ant-Man at least in comparison to the last handful of Marvel movies.
3. Too Many Comic-book Movies: After the success of The Avengers & Marvel Cinematic Universe formula, everyone is following up around same ideology as Marvel, DC has already lined up its movies till 2020 & with spinoffs such as Deadpool & Gambit scheduled for 2016, Fox is going in the same direction as well, Marvel themselves too have announced its Phase 3 line-up consisting of 10 movies planned till 2019. With so many comic-book movies coming out, the genre has somewhat lost its charm it used to enjoy and people are starting to care less about these movies.
4. Critical Reception: Although Ant-Man has a 80% approval at Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews were mostly of the “It’s fine.” Variety not “Awesome.” Kind of reviews which last summer’s Guardians of the galaxy had. Many critics were rather trying to conclude that the Edgar Wright version that we never got would have been vastly superior because why not? Everyone loves Edgar Wright.
5. Comic-con: One more thing that hurt Ant-Man’s collection was Marvel’s decision of completely skipping this year’s Comic-con. It’s not that Marvel needed to make a big splash, but rather that this entire week has seen the online film media discussing Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Deadpool, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Fantastic Four instead of Ant-Man. I’m not sure if it was possible for Marvel to just bring the film to Comic-Con for a free preview screening, but that might not have hurt at least in terms of keeping it in the national dialogue in the week before release.
6. Age of Ultron downplay: Call it Marvel’s eventual downfall or general superhero fatigue, but Avengers: Age of Ultron being pegged as a disappointment in some quarters for merely grossing $1.388 billion worldwide has hurt the movie in terms of expectations. 2012’s The Avenger’s success was actually reflected in Iron Man 3 & Thor 2, but since this year’s Avengers sequel itself underperformed, it has only done the work of lowering the expectation people had with Marvel.
7. Jam-packed Summer: Last year when Guardians of the Galaxy came, it was the summer disaster. It had the good luck to be “the one you’ve been waiting for” after an entire summer of mostly lacklustre and/or indifferently received live-action summer tent pole, but unfortunately Ant-Man didn’t enjoyed the same fortune. This year has already seen blockbusters like Jurassic World, Age of Ultron & recent Minions and doesn’t need Ant-Man to rescue summer box-office.
8. Theatre Count: Marvel’s Ant-Man has been released in about 3,856 theatres which is only 2nd last to 3,506 of the incredible hulk while movies like The Avengers: Age of Ultron had opened in 4,276 theatres. Coming after a super kid-friendly Minions probably didn’t help either, as said film bowed $50.8 million this weekend, also another flick that hurt Ant-Man was Trainwreck which grossed $30.2M million followed by still going strong Inside Out & Jurassic World.