Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s sting is working.
Marking the first studio event pic of 2023, the third film in Marvel Studios and Disney’s stand-alone superhero series is headed for a franchise-best domestic debut of $110-$120 million at the Presidents Day box office, including $100 million for the three days.
Overseas, it has collected $52.6 million to finish Friday with an early global tally of $98.6 million. That includes Friday’s North American haul of $46 million from more than 4,300 theaters.
Ant-Man 3′s estimated three-day domestic number of $100 million would put its opening 30 percent ahead of the last film.
The first Ant-Man launched to $57.2 million domestically over its first three-day weekend, the lowest start of any MCU offering, on its way to earning $519.3 million globally. Three years later, the second film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, started off with $75.8 million in North America before topping out at $622.7 million worldwide. The preview earnings for the two films were $6 million and $12 million, respectively.
The threequel reunites director Peyton Reed with actors Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. The cast also includes Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, Bill Murray, Katy O’Brian, William Jackson Harper, James Cutler and David Dastmalchian.
One challenge for Quantumania: The movie’s critics score on Rotten Tomatoes is presently 48 percent, the second-worst of any film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind Eternals (47 percent), and notably behind the Tomatometer rankings for 2012’s Ant-Man (83 percent) and 2015’s Ant-Man and the Wasp (87 percent). Generally speaking, male-skewing superhero fare is more immune to bad notices than other genres.
Audiences are also less enthusiastic. Moviegoers gave the film a B CinemaScore, compared to A for the first Ant-Man and A- for the second.
Ant-Man 3 is making a huge 3D push following the success of Avatar: The Way of Water and, more recently, a 3D remastered edition of Titanic. The upcharge for the format could result in a bump in the mid- to high teens for Quantumania. And overall, Imax and other premium-format screens accounted for a huge 43 percent of Friday’s business.
Black Panther remains the Presidents Day crown holder with a four-day gross of $242.2 million, followed by Deadpool with $152.2 million and Fifty Shades of Grey ($93 million), not adjusted for inflation.
Overseas, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks to start off with anywhere from $130 million to $190 million after starting off with a two-day gross of $23.8 million from its first 43 markets. It was released in China Friday.
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