×

Box Office: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Buzzing to $87 Million Opening

Disney-Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is flying high with an impressive $87 million opening weekend at 4,026 North American locations, early estimates showed Friday.

Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the 20th title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appears to be performing ahead of Disney’s recent forecasts in the $70 million to $85 million range. The superhero team-up, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, pulled in a solid $11.5 million on Thursday night.

Universal’s “The First Purge” got a two-day head start with a respectable $14 million at 3,031 North American locations on Wednesday and Thursday. Early estimates placed the fourth iteration of low-cost dystopian horror franchise at $17 million during the Friday-Sunday period.

If estimates hold, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will launch with the sixth-highest domestic debut of the year. Should it over-perform, it could become the 70th title to hit the $90 million mark in its launch weekend. The sequel will also wind up far ahead of the original “Ant-Man,” which opened with $57 million domestically two years ago. That 2015 Marvel title went on to earn $519 million globally.

Rudd and Lilly reprise their roles as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne/The Wasp, respectively — superheroes able to shrink themselves into the quantum realm. The sequel sees Scott Lang grappling with the struggle of being both a superhero and a father.

The cast also includes Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, and Bobby Cannavale. Peyton Reed, who oversaw the first film, returns to the director’s chair. Critics have embraced “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which carries an 86% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel, which has a reported $130 million budget, is also opening in 48% of international markets this weekend.

The First Purge” will finish fourth behind the fourth frame of Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” and the third weekend of Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Early estimates on Friday placed “Incredibles 2” in second with about $35 million, which will lift its total domestic gross to $510 million — surpassing “Beauty and the Beast” for the 11th spot on the all-time North American list.

“Fallen Kingdom” is heading for about $30 million and should wind up the weekend with about $334 million in its first 17 days. That’s about $320 million short of 2015’s “Jurassic Word,” which is sixth on the all-time domestic grosser list. The foreign performance has already lifted “Fallen Kingdom” past the $1 billion worldwide mark.

Sony’s second weekend of “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” will finish a distant fifth with about $8 million, pushing the sequel to about $35 million in its first 10 days.

Disney has dominated the box office this year with three of the top eight domestic debuts of all time: “Avengers: Infinity War” with $257.7 million, “Black Panther” with $202 million, and “Incredibles 2” with $182 million. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” posted the 20th-highest launch at $148 million and “Deadpool 2” was the 31st-highest at $125.5 million.

It’s the first full weekend of the third quarter following a record-setting second quarter, which saw the domestic box office pull in $3.33 billion thanks to blockbuster performances by “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Incredibles 2,” and “Deadpool 2.” Overall North American moviegoing on the Fourth of July surged 28.5% to $43.5 million, according to comScore — the highest gross for the holiday since 2010’s $44.9 million, led by “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” with $13.2 million.

The summer season has hit $2.4 billion as of July 4 — up 15.6% over last year — and the year-to-date total has surged 8.9% ahead of 2017, with $6.35 billion. The same weekend last year saw strong business with $207.2 million overall when “Spider-Man: Homecoming” opened with $117 million, noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.

“Another Marvel-ous summer weekend is in the cards that will see Disney’s latest superhero extravaganza, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ joining forces with Universal’s already released horror entry ‘The First Purge’ and a lineup of notable holdovers to power a solid first weekend of July,” he said. “Though last year’s comparable weekend was fittingly led by ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ this weekend will put up strong numbers and keep the summer box office gravy train rolling along and multiplexes buzzing with activity.”

More Film

  • marvel

    Marvel Phase 4 Plan Revealed, But Comic-Con’s Big Winner is Disney Plus

    In a triumphant return to the San Diego Comic-Con main stage, leadership at Marvel Studios managed some splashy surprises and showed off risky creative bets for the next two years of content coming from the superhero operation. But the biggest takeaway from the Saturday presentation inside Hall H was how important Marvel will make Disney [...]

  • Florence Pugh, O. T. Fagbenle, Rachel

    'Black Widow': Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh Go Head-to-Head in First Footage

    Marvel’s “Black Widow” has only been in production for a month, but studio president Kevin Feige still delivered the goods for fans at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Filmmakers brought an intense sizzle reel of on-location shots, kicked off by a dazzling and bone-crushing fight sequence between lead Scarlett Johansson and her on-screen sister Florence [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor

    Natalie Portman Returns for 'Thor: Love and Thunder' as Female Thor

    Natalie Portman is coming back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s no one’s love interest this time around. The Oscar winner will play a female god of thunder in the fourth film from the Chris Hemsworth series, titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Portman hit the stage at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday to great [...]

  • Fantastic Four

    New 'Fantastic Four' Movie in Development at Marvel

    Marvel is going back to the Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced that a new movie based on the superhero group is in the works at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Further details, however, including a release date, were not revealed. It marks the first Fox property for Disney to mine since the [...]

  • Mahershala AliMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Mahershala Ali to Star in Marvel's 'Blade' Reboot

    Marvel is rebooting the “Blade” series, and has cast Mahershala Ali to star. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the news at Comic-Con on Saturday as the panel’s big ending surprise. Ali also took the stage at the announcement to massive applause, donning the Blade baseball cap. Wesley Snipes previously played the half-vampire superhero in [...]

  • Doctor Strange

    'Doctor Strange' Sequel Billed as First MCU Horror Film at Comic-Con

    A sequel to “Doctor Strange” was announced as expected on Saturday at Marvel’s Comic-Con panel — what we didn’t see coming was the tone. Director Scott Derrickson said the film, titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” will mine the original comics and play up “the gothic, the horror.” Derrickson said it will lead [...]

  • Simu Liu Shang-Chi

    Marvel's 'Shang-Chi' Finds Its Lead

    Marvel has found its next superhero. The studio announced that Simu Liu has been tapped to star in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” during its Hall H presentation at Comic Con, joining cast member Awkwafina, who was also announced during the presentation. Additionally, Veteran actor Tony Leung has joined the film as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content