Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — the first Hollywood studio event pic of 2023 — started off its domestic box office run with a strong $17.5 million in Thursday previews. Shows began at 3 p.m.
The Marvel Studios threequel is tracking to collect at a franchise-best $110 million over the four-day Presidents Day frame (Friday-Monday) to score one of the top showings for the holiday. Black Panther remains the crownholder with $242.2 million followed by Deadpool with $152.2 million and Fifty Shades of Grey ($93 million), not adjusted for inflation.
Generally speaking, Quantumania‘s preview gross is on par with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which debuted to $147 million over the May 5-7 weekend in 2017. Preview grosses aren’t always reflective of how a movie will play out, since some releases can be more front loaded than others.
The $110 million estimate for Quantumania includes a three-day gross of $95 million. Overseas, the movie 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 will be released in China Friday.
Ant-Man 3 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.
The movie’s critics score on Rotten Tomatoes is presently 48 percent, the second-worst of any film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind Enternals (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, superhero fare can be more immune to bad notices than other genres.
The first Ant-Man launched to $57.2 million domestically, 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.
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.
By Friday, the pic will be playing in roughly 4,300 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, including 2,500 3D screens.
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