Paul Rudd's 'Ant-Man' Could Hit Mighty $65M on July 17 Debut

Ant Man Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Disney

Ant Man Still - H 2015

The tiny superhero hits the big screen in the U.S. on July 17.

Overcoming years of drama and defying naysayers, Marvel Studios and Disney's Ant-Man is tracking to open as high as $65 million at the North American box office in what would mark a big win for the world's tiniest superhero — and star Paul Rudd.

Two weeks out, tracking services have the film debuting in the $55 million to $65 million range, but many believe it will come in on the high end, considering Marvel's track record. Last summer, Marvel's offbeat Guardians of the Galaxy surprised by debuting to $94.3 million domestically.

If prerelease surveys are right, Ant-Man is further proof of Marvel's ability to create a stable of diverse and quirky superheroes that don't all fit the conventional mold. In the case of Ant-Man, the movie is far more comedic than other superhero movies.

Ant-Man, opening in the U.S. on July 17, tells the story of how petty thief Scott Lang (Rudd) helps his former hero, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), by agreeing to wear the Ant-Man suit and shrink to the size of an ant in order to pull off a heist that will save mankind.

In terms of tracking, Ant-Man is showing the same strength that the first Captain America and Thor enjoyed, both of which debuted in the $65 million range for Marvel. Despite its PG-13 rating, Ant-Man is considered more family-friendly than other superhero titles, so it could overperform.

The $130 million film saw plenty of behind-the-scenes drama throughout its making and took a decade to arrive on the big screen. Director Edgar Wright worked on the film for years with writer Joe Cornish, but he abruptly left the project in May 2014 over creative differences. Peyton Reed was brought in as Wright's replacement, while Adam McKay, who directed Rudd in Anchorman, was brought aboard to work on the script with Rudd.

Marvel and Disney already boast one of the biggest hits of summer 2015 with Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has earned $1.37 billion globally.

In North America, Ant-Man opens opposite Universal's Trainwreck, the Amy Schumer and Bill Hader R-rated comedy directed by Judd Apatow.