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As far as Marvel Cinematic Universe movies go, Peyton Reed's Ant-Man wasn't exactly a huge success when it played here in the United States - but it looks like the film will be making up plenty of ground over in Asia. We now know this because the superhero blockbuster just premiered in China and had a major opening weekend.
Despite coming out about three months after dropping domestically, Ant-Man premiered to the tune of $43.2 million in China over the last three days - which makes it the second largest opening for a Disney and Marvel release. According to Variety, that benchmark was set earlier this year with the premiere of Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which pulled in an eye-opening $156 million in its first five days this summer. The total for Ant-Man in China was more than enough to push the film to the top of the foreign box office charts.
Ant-Man's performance at the box office so far can be called a mixed bag success-wise. The movie only cost $130 million to make - much smaller than most Marvel titles - but by the end of its run in the United States it only made $178 million. This makes it the third lowest-domestic grossing title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in front of only Captain America: The First Avenger and The Incredible Hulk.
Overseas the film has been constructing a much different narrative. Including the money pulled in this past weekend, the global total for Ant-Man is now at an impressive $454.8 million - a number nearly three-and-a-half times bigger than the reported budget. That still only makes it the ninth most successful Marvel Studios title, but then again that's a pretty highly competitive field.
The good news in all of this is that the success of Ant-Man will actually be rewarded in just a couple of years. While Marvel Studios' initial plans for their Phase Three slate didn't include a new title for the shrinking superhero, we learned a couple weeks ago that a sequel titled Ant-Man And The Wasp has been scheduled to come out in 2018. The adventure doesn't officially have a writer or director attached just yet, but Paul Rudd will reprise his role as Scott Lang, while Evangeline Lilly will finally get her chance to superhero suit up and have Hope Van Dyne become the Marvel Cinematic Universe's new version of The Wasp.
Marvel Studios continues to be on an impressive roll when it comes to new feature releases, and arguably haven't really "missed" in more than seven years. We'll see if they're able to keep that absolutely incredible streak alive in 2016, as they deliver both Joe and Anthony Russo's star-studded Captain America: Civil War, and Scott Derrickson's dark, magical Doctor Strange.