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Ant-Man & The Wasp Was (Barely) A Box Office Success

NOTE: Box office figures as of August 5, 2018

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Now that Ant-Man and the Wasp has been in theaters for about a month, we can safely say the film was a box office success - but only by a slim margin. The franchise's smallest hero coincidentally also posts some of its smallest commercial figures. Scott Lang made his MCU debut back in 2015, and the original Ant-Man earned a modest $180.2 million domestically. That ranks near the bottom of the property's all-time charts, ahead of only The First Avenger and The Incredible Hulk. Still, considering the moderate budget (around $130 million), Ant-Man's $519.3 million global haul ensured a sequel.

That film arrived earlier this summer, hot on the heels of Avengers: Infinity War. Up to that point, Marvel had been enjoying arguably their most successful year at the box office, with Black Panther and Infinity War combining to earn more than $3 billion worldwide. Nobody expected Ant-Man and the Wasp to come near the record-breaking numbers of those two, but it seemed to be in a position to do well for itself. In the end, the sequel did OK, but the results are far from what Marvel is accustomed to now.

Ant-Man and the Wasp's Domestic Box Office

While analysts always figured Ant-Man and the Wasp would have Phase 3's lowest opening, it was believed the film would go as high as $80 million in its first three days. That would have been a substantial improvement over the original, which earned $57.2 million in its debut a few years back. In actuality, Ant-Man 2 earned $75.8 million during its first weekend, a figure that only topped four other MCU installments - three of which were from the Phase 1 days before Marvel Studios truly became the powerhouse it is.

Related: What Ant-Man and the Wasp's End Credit Scenes Reveal About Avengers 4

In stark contrast from most Marvel movies (including the first Ant-Man), Wasp held on to the #1 position for just a single weekend. In its second frame, it was handily defeated by the animated film Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. At this point, the MCU usually stays on top for multiple weekends; Infinity War was the reigning champ for three weeks, while Black Panther strung together a five-week dynasty. By comparison, Ant-Man and the Wasp had very weak legs, which could largely be attributed to its generally-positive word-of-mouth. The film is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but the reviews were far less enthusiastic than the MCU's other offerings this year. Many were in agreement that it was a fun, if light, romp. Ant-Man and the Wasp was intentionally positioned as a palate cleanser following the death and destruction of Infinity War, but it didn't feel like necessary viewing for casual moviegoers.

Because of this, Ant-Man and the Wasp currently stands at $195.6 million in the U.S. Out of the 20 MCU entries released to date, that ranks 16th. It's only ahead of Thor, Ant-Man, The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk. There's a chance it could eventually move past The Dark World ($206.3 million), but it likely won't get any higher than that. Business has been in steady decline for the film for a few weeks, as evidenced by its $6.3 million intake this past weekend. It may be able to hang around for a few more weeks, especially with August having few high-profile films to offer, but Ant-Man and the Wasp is on its way out of American theaters. It's done a majority of its damage already.

Since the film wasn't a massive hit domestically, it needed a strong showing overseas in order to turn a profit. Ant-Man and the Wasp's international release pattern was a bit more complicated due to Marvel's curious decision to stagger the dates due to the World Cup. It still hasn't opened in a few countries, but by now we have enough data to accurately gauge its performance worldwide.

Page 2 of 2: Ant-Man and the Wasp's Global Box Office

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Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
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Ant-Man & The Wasp Was (Barely) A Box Office Success