Ant-Man is ready for his picnic at the box office. Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” earned a formidable $17.5 million in previews at the domestic box office.
Internationally, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” has opened in more than 40 international markets, earning an estimated $23.8 million in its first two days of release. The superhero sequel is currently playing in such major territories as Mexico, South Korea, Germany, Brazil and Australia. It debuts in China on Friday.
Paul Rudd’s latest Marvel adventure is expected to bring in $95 million to $100 million domestically in its opening weekend. With the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, that figure could grow to $110 million. That haul can’t match previous Marvel openings, such as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($185 million) and “Thor: Love and Thunder” ($144 million), but the “Ant-Man” movies, like his name suggests, have pulled smaller box-office receipts than his Avengers teammates.
However, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” will certainly have the biggest opening of the small-but-mighty franchise. The original “Ant-Man” in 2015 debuted to just $57 million domestically after earning $6.4 million in Thursday previews. Its 2018 sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp” had a $76 million opening after launching with $11.5 million in previews.
In terms of other recent comic book and event movies, “The Batman” pulled in $22 million in previews en route to a $134 million opening, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” netted $28 million before recording an $181 million debut, and “Avatar: The Way of Water” grossed $17 million in previews prior to launching with $134 million.
The biggest problem for the film may be word of mouth. Critics haven’t been kind to “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” handing it a 49% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a low mark for Marvel. But there are other draws that may make the sequel immune to reviews and iffy buzz.
One of the biggest draws of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is Jonathan Majors’ supervillain Kang the Conqueror. He’s promised to become the next Thanos-level antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’s already been teased in the Season 1 finale of “Loki” on Disney+. Kang is an all-powerful, time-traveling baddie who’s already killed countless Avengers throughout the infinite timelines of the multiverse. He’s a major threat for a guy who can talk to ants, but luckily Rudd has some help up his super-sleeves as he’s lost in the mystical Quantum Realm. Evangeline Lilly returns as Wasp, Michael Douglas is back as Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer is Janet van Dyne and Kathryn Newton debuts as grown-up Cassie Lang in the sequel. Peyton Reed, who has helmed the two previous “Ant-Man” films, directs this trilogy capper.