Two tiny heroes are making a sizable impression on the box office this weekend.
Disney and Marvel’s stature-shifting superhero sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp is on track to debut with about $76 million in ticket sales from 4,206 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, dethroning Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and continuing Marvel’s incredible hot streak.
Ant-Man and the Wasp marks the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and each installment has opened at No. 1. While fellow MCU movies Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War both scored historic openings earlier this year, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a smaller-scaled affair that should still keep the mega-franchise’s momentum going. The opening is in line with industry estimates, which ranged from $70 million to $85 million, and it eclipses the original Ant-Man, which bowed to $57.2 million in 2015. Overseas, the sequel will add an estimated $85 million this weekend (from 48 percent of the marketplace).
Starring Paul Rudd as Ant-Man/Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp/Hope van Dyne, Ant-Man and the Wasp finds the heroes trying to rescue Hope’s mother (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) from the quantum realm, while also battling an intangible opponent (Hannah John-Kamen) and dodging the feds. Peyton Reed returned to direct the film, which reportedly cost about $162 million to produce.
Critics’ reviews for Ant-Man and the Wasp were generally positive, and audiences gave it an A-minus CinemaScore. The next MCU movie on the calendar is Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson; it opens March 8.
This week’s other newcomer, Universal and Blumhouse’s dystopian thriller The First Purge, opened Wednesday (on Independence Day) and is headed for a five-day total of about $31.1 million, in line with expectations. The Friday-Sunday frame accounts for $17.2 million of that amount, good for fourth place.
Arriving as the fourth entry in the Purge series, The First Purge is a prequel depicting the origins of an annual night of state-sanctioned lawlessness. Gerard McMurray directed, and Y’Lan Noel stars. Reviews were mixed, and moviegoers gave it a B-minus CinemaScore.
Rounding out the top five this weekend are Disney and Pixar’s animated hit Incredibles 2 ($29 million), which is edging out last week’s top earner, Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($28.6 million), and in fifth place, Sony’s borderland thriller Sicario: Day of the Soldado ($7.3 million).
On the specialty front, Roadside Attractions and Miramax’s Whitney Houston documentary Whitney is poised to open with about $1.3 million from 452 locations (a per-theater average of $2,758), and Annapurna Pictures’ outré sci-fi comedy Sorry To Bother You (directed by Boots Riley) is on track to debut with $717,302 from 16 theaters (a per-theater average of $44,831).
According to ComScore, overall box office is up 9 percent year-to-date. Check out the July 6-8 figures below.
1. Ant-Man and the Wasp — $76 million
2. Incredibles 2 — $29 million
3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — $28.6 million
4. The First Purge — $17.2 million
5. Sicario: Day of the Soldado — $7.3 million
6. Uncle Drew — $6.6 million
7. Ocean’s 8 — $5.3 million
8. Tag — $3.1 million
9. Won’t You Be My Neighbor — $2.6 million
10. Deadpool 2 — $1.7 million