Ant-Man and the Wasp could struggle to top the original Ant-Man's U.S. total at the box office. Marvel Studios has celebrated their 10th anniversary in grand style with a pair of $1 billion smash hits in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, but they closed 2018 out with one of their smallest offerings yet. Positioned as a refreshing palate cleanser, Ant-Man and the Wasp has generated positive word-of-mouth, but it's not translating into huge commercial numbers. While the sequel's opening weekend was higher than its predecessor, Ant-Man and the Wasp's debut was the lowest of Phase 3.
The film only did marginally better than some Phase 1 titles, which is somewhat alarming considering the number of recent MCU properties that have become massive worldwide blockbusters. While the Guardians of the Galaxy and T'Challa rake in the cash, Ant-Man frankly isn't as popular. As it turns out, Ant-Man and the Wasp may not be able to match the domestic total of the original film.
Forbes did an analysis and forecast of Ant-Man and the Wasp's box office performance, using weekend multipliers to estimate the movie will end its domestic run with approximately $173 million in the U.S. The main reasoning for this is the amount of competition it will face. This weekend sees the release of action film Skyscraper and animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, while Mission: Impossible - Fallout (already earning raves) is right around the corner.
Should this pan out, it would mean Ant-Man and the Wasp would pass only The Incredible Hulk on the MCU's all-time chart. At first glance, that sounds like reason to be concerned, but the situation isn't too severe. Marvel was smart about keeping the budget for Ant-Man and the Wasp under control; the reported figure is about $162 million. That is a little more than what the first installment cost, but the budget is still small enough to easily turn a profit. Ant-Man and the Wasp's break even point should be around $324 million worldwide, which is a figure it should be able to pass. Its strange release pattern internationally (due to the World Cup) complicates matters, as it has still yet to open in several markets.
While Ant-Man and the Wasp should be another MCU success, its relatively muted turnout does raise questions about the future of the sub-franchise. Of course, not everything is going to earn $600+ million in the States, but Wasp is going to finish well below Marvel's trio of 2017 blockbusters and even 2016's Doctor Strange ($232.6 million). The Ant-Man creative team is thinking about possible third installments, but with other properties clearly more viable (and others on the way), Marvel may decide to invest in other characters for standalone films, leaving Ant-Man and the Wasp to take part in team-ups.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019