The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Ant-Man opens big at box office with $104M for ‘Quantumania’
NEW YORK — Phase five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may have gotten off to a rocky start, but AntMan is bigger than ever at the box office.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” opened with $104 million in domestic ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, easily surpassing the box-office debuts of the previous two Ant-Man films. The Walt Disney Co.’s “Quantumania” added another $121.3 million overseas to give the pint-sized hero a $225 million global launch.
It’s easily the largest opening of the year so far. And “Quantumania” did so despite an atypically poor reception for the 31st MCU film. “Quantumania,” starring Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, sits at 48 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the only MCU film to rank as rotten beside “The Eternals” (47 percent).
Audiences also weren’t thrilled with “Quantumania,” giving it a “B” CinemaScore. “The Eternals” is the only other MCU film to receive a CinemaScore that low.
But good reviews or not, theaters hope “Quantumania” — the first blockbuster of the year — is a sign of things to come. After the turmoil of the past three years, there are some 30 more wide releases planned for 2023.
The first “Ant-Man” launched with $57.2 million domestically in 2015, the smallest opening for any movie in the MCU. It ultimately earned $519.3 million worldwide. Its sequel, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” debuted three years later with $75.8 million and went to collect $622.7 million globally.
China was vital for both of those releases, with each topping $100 million there. But in recent years, particularly during the pandemic, fewer American movies have secured major releases in the heavily regulated Chinese market. Not since “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019 has a Disney release opened simultaneously in the U.S. and China.
In its 10th weekend of release, James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” remained in second place with $6.4 million. Landing in third was Universal’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which has enjoyed an unusually long run in theaters as the top family option since late December. With $5.3 over the weekend, it has totaled $167 million domestically and more than $400 million worldwide.
Last week’s top film, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” slid to fourth place with $5.5 million. The Channing Tatum sequel has collected $18.1 million in two weeks.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore, with Wednesday through Sunday in parentheses. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” $104 million.
2. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $6.1 million.
3. “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” $5.5 million.
4. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $5.3 million.
5. “Knock at the Cabin,” $3.9 million.
6. “80 for Brady,” $3.6 million.
7. “Titanic,” $2.3 million.
8. “Marlowe,” $1.9 million.
9. “Missing,” $1.7 million.
10. “A Man Called Otto,” $1.6 million.