Could Ant-Man Have The Smallest Opening Of Any Marvel Cinematic Universe Film?


I apologize for the inherent size pun in the title of this article, but it’s almost impossible to discuss the amount of money Ant-Man may or may not make in its opening weekend without an unintentional reference of some kind. I suppose “Could Ant-Man make less money than …” might have worked.

More from Movies

In any case, critics are mostly enjoying Ant-Man (79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as I type this), and audience reaction has been very positive as well. That might not translate into crazy box office numbers though, as forecasts are calling for the film to bring in around $60 million by the end of Sunday.

To put that in perspective, $60 million would be the smallest (again, sorry) opening weekend total for any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date, beating only The Incredible Hulk‘s $55.4 million — and I don’t think I’m alone in calling that one barely a part of the MCU as we know it. Take out Robert Downey Jr.’s cameo and it could easily be jettisoned from the overall canon.

In other words, this would be the weakest opening since Marvel was Marvel. Still, that’s not all bad. It’s basically a solo movie save for one cameo that I won’t spoil, while the previous Phase Two MCU flicks have been multi-hero extravaganzas. It also features a relatively obscure character, though critics could easily point to Guardians of the Galaxy as an example of how that shouldn’t be an excuse for Marvel going forward.

I’d say that given the struggle it took to make this movie a reality and the nature of its title hero, this won’t be bad for Marvel. The studio is undoubtedly smart enough to know it can’t hit billion-dollar home runs with each at bat, and Ant-Man still slots in nicely as part of the overall world-building effort. The “Ant-Man Will Return” prompt at its end lets audiences know Scott Lang isn’t going anywhere.

It’s also quite possible that Ant-Man will have more legs than many of its Marvel brethren, which tend to drop off pretty severely after just a week or two. In that respect, the lower opening weekend total could be a blessing in disguise, as it’s not inconceivable that positive word of mouth could help it win the box office in Week 2, especially since there’s not much opening wide on July 24 that appears it’ll be a big threat (sorry Pixels!).

If Ant-Man is sitting at $100 million-plus after next weekend, no one should be calling it a disappointment at all. And that would be an accomplishment for a movie starring a guy who shrinks that went through two different directors and four writers to get to the screen.

(box office estimates and data via Box Office Mojo)

More from Bam Smack Pow