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Box Office: 'Ant-Man' Has Topped 'Green Lantern'

As of Wednesday, Walt Disney’sAnt-Man has earned $116.8 million at the domestic box office and $234 million at the worldwide box office. That puts the Marvel adventure just past the $116.6m US and $219m worldwide take of Green Lantern from 2011. Why am I even discussing this, beyond the clickbait headline? Well, aside from the clickbait headline (and the reassurance that I have other stuff in the pipeline today), it brings up a fun way to briefly discuss a few minor points in terms of apples-to-apples comparison in terms of box office punditry. And yeah, that headline too. As you all probably know,Ant-Man opened two weeks ago in America with a $57 million opening weekend. That was the second-lowest debut in Marvel Studios history, playing less like Guardians of the Galaxy and more like (non MCU films) X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, Fantastic Four, and yes, Green Lantern and Watchmen. Yet despite the fact that all of these films opened just over/under $55m, they had vastly different box office trajectories and their overall performance led to wholly different long term outcomes.

As of now, the closest comparison point is X-Men: First Class, which 20th Century Fox opened in glorious 2D with $55 million on its way to an eventual $146m domestic cume (and $353m worldwide) on a $160m budget. Despite a relatively soft number, it earned rave reviews and jumpstarted fan faith in the long-running franchise and that goodwill paid off withX-Men: Days of Future Past last summer. Fantastic Four, which dropped ten years ago, was actually a pretty big hit in its day. It opened with $56m (more than the Fri-Sun $48m debut of Batman Begins) and...