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.
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.
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.”
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.