Ant-Man sequel earns $104M in opening weekend

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 5 got off to a rocky start with a poor reception for the 31st MCU film, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 48% Fresh rating, and a "B" CinemaScore from audiences. Despite the negative reviews, "Quantumania" was the first blockbuster of the year and opened with $104 million domestically and $121.3 million overseas, for a global launch of $225 million.

The box office success of "Quantumania" is a hopeful sign for the industry, which has gone through a tumultuous three years, with theaters hoping for a return to pre-pandemic levels. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore, said “It will feel almost in the coming weeks like a pre-pandemic moviegoing environment in terms of the marketplace."

"Quantumania" surpassed the opening of the previous two Ant-Man films, with the first "Ant-Man" opening with $57.2 million domestically in 2015, and the sequel, "Ant-Man and the Wasp," debuting three years later with $75.8 million. Both releases were heavily dependent on China, and while "Quantumania" did take in $19 million over the weekend in China, tensions over the Chinese balloons surveillance program could potentially affect future releases.

In its 10th weekend, James Cameron's “Avatar: The Way of Water” remained in second place with $6.4 million, surpassing "Titanic" as the third-highest grossing film ever. "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" took third place with $5.3 million and has totaled $167 million domestically and more than $400 million worldwide, and last week's top film, “Magic Mike's Last Dance”, slid to fourth place with $5.5 million.

The only new film to go into wide release against “Quantumania" was "Marlowe," with Liam Neeson in the classic private eye role, which only mustered $1.9 million. With more than 30 wide releases planned for 2023, it remains to be seen how the post-pandemic movie-going industry will fare.


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