Generally speaking, sequels tend to make less money at the box office than the first movie in a series, but luckily for Disney and Marvel Studios, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ bucked that trend. It took in $76.5 million, which is not only better than ‘Ant-Man’‘s opening weekend of $57.2M in 2015, but slightly higher than projections going into the weekend, which placed the sequel’s performance in the $75M range. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ opened very strongly and was looking to vastly exceed projections, but its Saturday drop-off was steeper than expected.
Cynically speaking, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp”s premiere is softer than ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’‘s $84.4M 3-day opening and that movie is one of the most notorious disappointments of the year so far, but ‘Solo’ cost about $300M to produce. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ was made for $162M, with approximately $154M on promotion and advertisement. The first ‘Ant-Man’ cost about $130M to make and earned $519.3M worldwide, placing it squarely in the black.
Audiences gave it an average of A- CinemaScore, which is good, but a little lower than the first ‘Ant-Man’ which earned an A, which is overwhelmingly the average with Marvel movies (13 movies out of 20 have gotten an A Score). Critics liked the sequel slightly better, with it ranking 87% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. ‘Ant-Man’ ranked 82%.
Moving down the list, ‘The Incredibles 2’ and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ are performing neck-and-neck, with the Disney/Pixar movie narrowly edging out the dinosaurs with $31.9M versus $31.3M. Both films are accomplishing milestones. ‘The Incredibles 2’ is now Disney/Pixar’s highest-grossing film domestically with a total of $507.2M.
As for ‘Fallen Kingdom’, it has now crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office, with $304.8M coming from domestic ticket sales and $700.7M from foreign. And it hasn’t opened in Japan yet, so who knows where this film will finish? ‘Fallen Kingdom’ now has the distinction of being the third movie of 2018 to notch $1B and is the first non-Disney film to do so.
In fourth place, Blumhouse’s ‘First Purge’ released early, with previews on Tuesday night and going wide on Wednesday, July 4, which is fitting due to the horror flick’s political theme. That helped it take in $31M over five days. With its tiny budget of $13M and the fact that this is the fifth movie in this franchise, this showing is pretty strong.
Here is the Top Five:
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney) – $76.5M
- Incredibles 2 (Disney) – $31.9M
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) – $31.3M
- The First Purge (Universal/Blumhouse) – $31M
- Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sony) – $7.9M
Next weekend could go in a couple of directions. It’s possible that ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ could remain on top, but there are two solid contenders entering the arena. One is the Dreamwork’s family animated film ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’. Now that ‘The Incredibles 3’ has been out for a month, families could be looking for a new cinematic fix. Then there’s the Dwayne Johnson action movie ‘Skyscraper’. Johnson remains one of the few stars that seems able to draw audiences no matter what movie he makes. But ‘Ant-Man’ will only be in its second week, so it remains to be seen if it is ready to abdicate the top spot.
Check back to see how things pan out!