China Box Office: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Heading for $21 Million Opening Day

A solid opening in China could keep Disney’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” on course to beat its 2015 predecessor.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” reeled in $21.5 million (RMB147 million) on Friday, according to data from China Box Office at 10 p.m. local time. It comfortably dominated holdover titles, including “The Island” and “The Meg,” and a rash of newcomers, to claim a 66% box office share.

To date, the film has grossed $209 million in North America and $257 million in international markets, for a global haul of $466 million. That leaves it behind the previous installment in the franchise, which earned $180 million in its domestic release and $339 million from international territories, for a lifetime total of $519 million.

Disney needs decent performances in China and Japan, where it releases on Aug. 31, to overtake those milestones. Last time out, “Ant-Man” earned $105 million in China and $9.67 million in Japan.

Going in to Friday, the Chinese comedy “The Island” had earned $159 million in the Middle Kingdom. “The Meg,” a Chinese-U.S. co-production, had bitten into $115 million. Both now look set to lose ground rapidly. The Friday data indicated that Donnie Yen’s martial arts drama “Big Brother” would take second place. Next week, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is expected to open on top, powered by a marketing campaign devised by Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant and a “Fallout” investor.