The Chinese Film Bureau seem to have assigned Ant-Man & the Wasp a release date of August 24. The first film grossed $105 million in China, one-fifth of its global total, and Marvel is already pushing their marketing campaign into gear for the sequel.
Ant-Man & the Wasp has hardly been the MCU's greatest box office hit to date. It only earned $76 million in its first three days, the weakest opening weekend in Phase 3 to date. Takings for the second weekend dropped by a brutal 62 percent. Part of the problem is an unusually staggered global release across Europe. This was due to the World Cup, with Marvel deciding it was wise not to compete with the biggest sporting event of the year - especially in the UK. The film will finally release in the UK this week.
According to Deadline, local media and ticketing sites in China are now advertising that Ant-Man & the Wasp will release on August 24. There are also new Chinese posters for the film, carrying the same release date. The Chinese Film Bureau normally run a blackout on overseas movies through the summer, in order to protect the local film industry, but it seems this year's blackout is being curtailed. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation will release on August 17, while Paramount's Mission Impossible - Fallout will hit theaters on August 31. It looks as though Ant-Man & the Wasp will have a lot of competition in the Chinese box office.
Marvel will be relieved that the release date isn't too late; it's actually only three weeks after Ant-Man & the Wasp releases in the UK. Meanwhile, the fact remains that Marvel movies are extremely popular in China. The first Ant-Man grossed $105 million in China, one-fifth of its global total, despite being released in October 2015 - three months after its domestic release. This year's Avengers: Infinity War was the highest-grossing Marvel movie in China to date, making nearly $350 million in the Chinese box office.
With a release date apparently confirmed, Marvel is kicking their marketing into gear for Ant-Man & the Wasp. The Chinese Film Bureau tend to tell studios their release date only a few weeks in advance, meaning studios struggle to put together a strong marketing campaign. In Marvel's case, though, they clearly had a suite of new posters prepared for the moment a date was confirmed. It's unfortunate that Ant-Man & the Wasp has such strong competition, but a strong marketing push should ensure the film does well in China regardless.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019