Paul Rudd is Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, alongside Johnathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in “Ant-Man and the Wasp in Quantumania.”
Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” scored an estimated $104 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend.
The 31st Marvel Cinematic Universe film kicked off phase five of the 15-year-old franchise and established the next overarching villain for the series — Kang (Jonathan Majors). The character was first seen in the Disney+ series “Loki.”
“Quantumania’s” domestic haul is nearly double what the first standalone Ant-Man film opened to in 2015 and marks the 31st consecutive MCU release to debut at number one at the domestic box office.
“Marvel has perhaps been more under the microscope in post-Endgame times than they’re used to with several films and streaming series occasionally not registering as well with critics and/or audiences as the brand is used to, which made this release even more important as it promises to kickstart Phase 5,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.
“Although some critics didn’t take to the third Ant-Man entry, audiences still turned out for the film in strong numbers to the tune of more tickets sold on opening weekend than for any prior Ant-Man release,” he said.
Internationally, “Quantumania” took in $121 million, bringing its estimated global haul for the three-day spread to $225 million.
“The power of the Marvel brand to drive moviegoers to the multiplex is undeniable and the excitement surrounding phase five of the MCU makes ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ essential viewing for any fan looking to jumpstart their enthusiasm for this new era in the ongoing Marvel saga,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
The film is expected to drive more than seven million patrons to theaters this weekend, according to data from EntTelligence. That’s more than double what Sony’s “Uncharted” lured in during last year’s Presidents Day weekend.
“This Presidents weekend boasts the first true blockbuster opener of 2023,” said Comscore’s Dergarabedian. “‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ sets into motion what looks to be week after week of solid moviegoing and creates momentum for a solid summer movie season.”
Additionally, 28% of ticket buyers opted for premium format theaters, paying an average of $4.29 more per ticket.
Higher foot traffic and higher ticket spending are good signs for the overall movie theater industry, which suffered considerably during the pandemic and is still recovering.
“We often talk about dates circled on the calendar as potential inflection points, and this weekend was the latest for the movie industry,” said Robbins of BoxOffice.com. “After a brief dip in tentpole releases following the holidays, a better-than-expected January and this healthy result from ‘Quantumania’ pave the way for a significant pick-up in high-profile theatrical content once March begins.”
“All told, 2023 is still in its infancy but is thus far living up to expectations as a year theaters and studios can be enthused about,” he said.
(With inputs from CNBC)