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article image'Ant-Man' arrives and will battle 'Minions' for top spot

By Tim O'Brien     Jul 16, 2015 in Entertainment
After an impressive first weekend win, "Minions" will be tough to beat. But, "Ant-Man" is here and the buzz has been good. The buzz, however, is still solid for those pesky "Minions."
In the end, it will be a battle for the top spot in the states. Overseas, "Ant-Man" leads the way, but domestically, it will not be so easy. If "Minions" simply has the usual second week drop, it still has the yellow wise-crackers coming in around $50-60 million.
"Ant-Man" is from Disney/Marvel, while "Minions" is from Universal/Buena Vista, which has had a super year so far. "Ant-Man" starts tonight (July 16) and if it gets off to a fast start, it could take home a win. Both "Ant-Man" and "Minions" are looking for around $60 million.
Remember, those Thursday figures get added to Friday's numbers. Another note is that many films have over-achieved this year.
1. "Ant-Man"- 3,700 theaters
2. "Trainwreck"- 3,153 theaters
3. "Irrational Man - 5 theaters
Paul Rudd stars in "Ant-Man" and has been all over promoting it. Plus, with the help of Comic Con in San Diego, awareness is high for males and females. But, families rule the box office and "Minions" and "Inside Out" will play strong, as will "Jurassic World."
But, the PG-13 rated "Ant-Man" is no Batman or Superman. That awareness and likability is hard to get, so word-of-mouth after the previews will be used to ignite it through the weekend. Directed by Peyton Reed, "Ant-Man" will try to do what "Guardians of the Galaxy" did. That would be surprise the pundits and blow away the box office. That same feel is not here, though.
On the other end of the spectrum is "Trainwreck," a comedy for adults. The R-rated comedy stars Any Schumer and Bill Hader. It is directed by Judd Apatow, a vocal Bill Cosby critic. Schumer also wrote the film and she is on fire right now. Add in a little controversy with her having to defend her stand up comedy, Schumer has what it takes to make people laugh.
Plus, add in a recent Emmy nomination and she is primed. But, will audiences shine to her this weekend? Time will tell as R-rated comedies are not expected to shake up the box office like an animated or superhero film.
"Irrational Man" sneaks into five theaters and the per screen average is the key to this one. The slow roll outs get more notice as the second half of the year commences. The award watchers and voters take note and are more tuned in now.
"Irrational Man" is Woody Allen's latest R-rated film. The film about a burned-out professor stars Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone. That may not be the smaller film to watch out for this, though. "The Stanford Prison Experiment" may be the one on that level.
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