“Ant-Man and the Wasp” Wins Box Office, Makes Relatively Little for MCU

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The new Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, Ant-Man and the Wasp, took the #1 spot at the box office over the weekend, though it made less money than the franchise’s other recent movies.

The film about a pair of size-changing superheroes made $76 million domestically over the three-day weekend, and $161 million worldwide―just about matching its budget of $162 million. This is an improvement over its predecessor film, Ant-Man, which made $57.2 million domestically during its opening weekend, which put it just ahead of The Incredible Hulk, the MCU’s lowest-performing entry.

That said, this news is mixed. For example, its opening night made $11.5 million domestically, putting it ahead of other MCU fare like Doctor Strange ($9.4 million) and the original Guardians of the Galaxy ($11.2 million); it’s also twice as much as the $6.4 million that Ant-Man made its opening night. That said, the overall weekend performance only surpassed Thor ($65.7 million), Captain America: The First Avenger ($65 million), and The Incredible Hulk ($55.4 million), all of which were released in the first phase of the now booming franchise.

This more or less fits with projections, which say that Ant-Man and the Wasp is likely to be the lowest-grossing entry in Phase 3. That said, this is not necessarily a problem for Disney or Marvel Studios―while it is easy to think of the franchise as a huge juggernaut, not every film is supposed to be a huge event like Infinity War. This one also had a relatively small budget, so despite making less than box office flop Solo (which had a $84.4 million opening weekend on a $275 million budget), things are looking fine.

Similar things can be said for The First Purge, this weekend’s other notable opening feature―its $17.1 million opening is less than any other Purge movie, but while audiences seem weary of the concept, it has already regained its $13 million budget.

Meanwhile, Incredibles 2 made $29 million on its fourth weekend (and became the highest-grossing animated film of all time), while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom made $28.5 million on its third weekend and Sicario: Day of the Soldado made $7.3 million on its second weekend.

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