‘Inside Out,’ ‘Ant-Man’ hit global box office bonanza

Thoughtful Pixar animated feature, quirky Marvel mini-superhero continue to rake in healthy profits for Disney in international markets.

PR still from "Inside Out." (Courtesy Disney/Pixar)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2015 – Sources report that the Disney organization continues to score box office bonanzas not only on this summer’s Pixar hit, “Inside Out,” but also on its latest offbeat Marvel franchise entry, “Ant-Man.” “Inside Out,” a rather esoteric and highly original animated feature focused on the psychological life of a young girl, has now exceeded $750 million in U.S. and international box office revenues, while “Ant-Man,” released somewhat later in the summer season, has now topped $400 million world-wide.

Read Also: “Inside Out”: Pixar film returns studio to its Golden Age

Numbers are all the more impressive when one considers that both films have been introduced to new markets in staggered releases and that neither film has yet opened in the massive Chinese market, where both are scheduled for October release dates.

Paul Rudd is "Ant-Man." (Marvel Studios)
Paul Rudd is “Ant-Man.” (Marvel Studios)

The intriguing intellectual content of “Inside Out” in particular has struck a chord in European markets and particularly in Italy, demonstrating there is a possible potential for deeper, more thoughtful summer fare at the box office, where noisy, explosive adventure epics have long held sway.

“Ant-Man’s” launch in Japan made it No. 1 among Western films debuting there, scoring a $1.7 million opening there—a number that, surprisingly, outpaces the previous opening performances of two other Marvel hits, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and the second coming of “Thor.”

Read Also: ‘Ant-Man’ A fun Marvel film, yet burdened by larger concept

Both “Inside Out” and “Ant-Man,” different though they may be, do share one major characteristic that seems to be a make-or-break proposition for any summer film that wishes to do well: likeable characters involved in a compelling plot line. Simply blowing stuff up doesn’t seem to count for quite as much any more.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17