Ant-Man and the Wasp's Worldwide Box Office
Everyone is in agreement that Ant-Man and the Wasp cost more to make than its predecessor, but what's unclear is the final budget total. Some reports point to it being around $162 million, while others suggest a much higher $195 million. Both of those possibilities do not include marketing and distribution. Going by the general rule of thumb, then, the movie's break even point was either $324 million or $390 million. Judging by the first movie's global total, either one of those was perfectly manageable.
As of this writing, Ant-Man and the Wasp has earned $426.9 million worldwide. When weighted against either of the proposed budgets, the movie is in the black - for either $102.9 million or $36.9 million. Of course, neither of those is particularly anything to write home about, and far from what Marvel usually earns. Black Panther's profit margin ended up at approximately $900 million, while Infinity War cleared more than $1 billion. Even when compared to Marvel's 2017 films (which is more fair), Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn't even come close. This is slightly concerning, since most MCU first sequels saw a substantial increase when compared to the original. Ant-Man and the Wasp may make a little more than Ant-Man worldwide, but it won't be a significant improvement.
Fortunately, Ant-Man and the Wasp has yet to open all around the globe. It took a while, but Marvel's latest was recently confirmed for a Chinese premiere (August 24). The film is also set to debut in Italy, Portugal, and Japan in the second half of August, which will boost its numbers. Most important, of course, is China, which ranks as the second-largest film market in the world. The first Ant-Man made $105.3 million in the Middle Kingdom, so it stands reason to believe Wasp will end up in that ballpark. If it does, the film's global total will raise to around $532.2 million, drastically changing the aforementioned profit figures for the better. Obviously, the film wouldn't be in any danger of losing money if it never secured a Chinese release, but now it's in a stronger position to thrive and go down as an honest hit instead of a mild one.
Marvel has kept their post-Avengers 4 plans close to the chest, so it's unknown if an Ant-Man 3 will happen. The likes of Paul Rudd and Peyton Reed have discussed the possibility, but that's far from confirmation. It'll be interesting to see if Ant-Man and the Wasp's performance influences Marvel's decision making moving forward. There's obviously more widespread interest in other sub-franchises they have at their disposal, so they may opt to have Scott and Hope van Dyne be supporting characters in other films, much like how the Hulk's role has evolved over the past handful of years.
With $17 billion earned over 10 years, Marvel is certainly in a position of luxury and can afford to have some smaller movies like Ant-Man. Not everything they release needs to break records or hit $1 billion to be considered successful, especially now that they're putting out three movies per year. And while Wasp was certainly one of the lowest-grossing MCU films, it was by no means a disaster because the studio kept the budget in check. This isn't a Solo: A Star Wars Story situation where Disney is taking losses. Marvel might prioritize other brands moving forward, but they know they can find success with even their smallest heroes.
- 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 02, 2019