"Ant-Man" Opens Slightly Below Projections, Still Hits No. 1

"Ant-Man" didn't outgrow box office projections, but it did keep Marvel Studios' opening weekend streak alive. The film, starring Paul Rudd and directed by Peyton Reed, opened at No. 1 -- the 12th out of 12 Marvel Studios films to do so -- with a $58 million gross over this past weekend, according to estimated numbers from Box Office Mojo.

Industry projections had "Ant-Man" opening between $60 and $65 million. This is the second-lowest opening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, after 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," which earned $55.4 million in its first weekend. The original "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" were in a similar range, opening at $65.7 million and $65 million, respectively, in 2011. Yet as Box Office Mojo points out, "Ant-Man" has the lowest per-screen average yet for Marvel Studios, coming in slightly below "Incredible Hulk" in that benchmark ($15,051 versus $15,810). Notably, "Ant-Man" also has the lowest reported production budget -- $130 million -- of any Marvel Studios film thus far, so it has less ground to cover to make its money back. (By comparison, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" had a reported $250 million production budget.)

The biggest competition for "Ant-Man" came from Universal's animated "Despicable Me" spinoff "Minions," which earned $50.2 million in its second weekend, following a $115.7 million opening (a 56.6 percent weekend-to-weekend drop). Universal's "Trainwreck," written by and starring Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, came in third with $30.2 million.

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