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Will Disney Find Box-Office Success Again with Ant-Man? - Analyst Blog

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The Walt Disney Company 's DIS latest offering Ant-Man hits the theaters on Jul 17. Given the runaway success of Marvel these days, this relatively unknown caped crusader is likely to win at the box office.

Ant-Man has created a lot of buzz, thanks to Disney's unparalleled marketing abilities. Analysts estimate Ant-Man to rake in $60-$65 million in its opening weekend domestically and another $60 million across international territories, taking the total weekend count to $115-$125 million. The estimates are almost in line with the collections of Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor in their debut weekends.

Moreover, analysts have been drawing parallels with last summer's smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a high risk venture for Disney being based on a relatively obscure comic book series set entirely in outer space.

However, Guardians of the Galaxy defied all odds, and nabbed a powerful $160.4 million in its opening weekend worldwide. At domestic box office, it opened at the no. 1 slot with $94.3 million in collections. The movie made $774.2 million in its entire theatrical run globally and became the year's third highest grossing movie. Guardians benefitted from its witty and humor laced script, brilliant SFI and an impressive cast.

As per the Ant-Man trailers, it looks like director Peyton Reed has done a good job at combining humor and action, plus Disney has been branding it as a family film, which we believe will work in its favor. Critics have given favorable reviews to the movie as reflected in an 8 out of 10 score on IMDb and a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ant-Man has an impressive cast with Paul Rudd in the titular role while Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stroll, and Michael Pena play some prominent characters. The plot is pretty simple. Scott Lang (Rudd), a thief is given a chance at redemption by Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) to take on the Ant-Man suit and carry out a heist that would ensure the survival of mankind.

All the above mentioned factors will work in Ant-Man 's favour, giving Disney the scope to boast of yet another success in 2015 after Cinderella, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Pixar's Inside Out .

However, the movie might face some serious competition from Minions that has literally gone 'bananas' at the box office. After a fantastic $115 million opening weekend, this Despicable Me spin-off continues to have a strong hold at the box office.

Going into the second weekend, collections of this Comcast Corporation CMCSA animated flick is estimated to hover as high as $60 million and above. In such a scenario, analysts believe that Ant-Man might not open at the no. 1 slot.

In addition, Trainwreck , another offering from Comcast owned Universal studios, might snatch a share of business from Ant-Man . This R rated comedy, starring Amy Schumer has garnered strong and favourable response from the critics. It has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Trainwreck is expected to earn an impressive $18 million to $20 million in its opening weekend.

Ant-Man will open in about 3,800 screens including 361 IMAX and 388 premium large format screens across North America. It will release simultaneously in 50 international territories.

At present, Disney carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the media sector include Time Warner Inc. TWX and Sirius XM Holdings Inc. SIRI . Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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