There is no question that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the biggest franchise running in Hollywood, and that brand has only grown stronger with the release of Peyton Reed's Ant-Man And The Wasp. The film is the 20th release from Marvel Studios, going back to 2008, and it is also their 20th movie to take the top spot at the box office in its opening week. Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!
Being the twentieth-straight movie to top the box office is only one of many trends that Ant-Man And The Wasp has continued for Marvel Studios - which currently stands with a global total of $161 million (it won't be released in many foreign territories for another few weeks). For example, the blockbuster has continued the streak of sequels that are more successful than their predecessors, which is actually something that has held true for every title with the exception of Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Peyton Reed's Ant-Man opened to $57.2 million when it was released in the summer of 2015, and its follow-up - released during the same month three years later - was able to top that total by nearly $20 million. On that same note, it also looks like the new film will have no problem at all outpacing Ant-Man's domestic total as that solo feature is currently ranked seventeenth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a final total of $180.2 million.
Overall, expectations are high for Ant-Man And The Wasp, which is amazingly the third Marvel Studios release in 2018 (though it is also the last). Clearly it is on a path towards big success, but will be interesting to see where the movie winds up landing when its done with its theatrical run. In the last two years Marvel has released six films, and all of them have managed to make at least $850 million globally, with two of them making over $1 billion. This one probably won't rank in the upper tiers, but it has potential to still do a lot of business. Like most Marvel releases, the professional reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and audiences are clearly enjoying it as well, giving it an "A-" on CinemaScore.
And if you are among those who saw Ant-Man And The Wasp this weekend and loved it, we have a recommendation for you. We did a wonderful, spoiler-filled interview with Peyton Reed for this week's episode of our podcast, HeroBlend, and you can listen to it right now by clicking play on the embed below:
With most studios knowing better than to compete with the comic book giant, there was only one other new release this weekend: Gerard McMurray's The First Purge. The new sequel from Blumhouse Studios got a jump start on the superhero blockbuster, launching early into theaters on Wednesday to celebrate the July 4th holiday, but the numbers overall aren't spectacular. It is the first in the franchise to open at #4, but weirdly that fits a trend for the movies, as dropping a spot has occurred with every sequel (The Purge opened at #1, The Purge: Anarchy at #2, and The Purge: Election Year at #3). The three day weekend numbers are also far and away the lowest among the releases - though counting cash from the two extra days evens the numbers out a bit. It will be interesting to see where it winds up ranking overall, as the highest grosser is The Purge: Election Year with $79.2 million domestically, but there is some serious competition coming from both Ant-Man And The Wasp and some other major new releases coming out in the next couple of weeks.
We should also recognize some of the major box office milestones achieved by two of the in-theater movies listed in the chart. As we wrote about yesterday, Brad Bird's Incredibles 2 is the first animated title in history to make over $500 million domestically, which obviously makes it the biggest release Pixar has ever put out in the United States (it should be noted that it's $772.8 million worldwide total still has a long way to go to catch up with Toy Story 3's $1.1 billion ). And speaking of billions, J.A. Bayona's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom also passed that impressive milestone this past week, and to date it currently stands at $1.06 billion. It is the third blockbuster to hit that mark so far in 2018, the other two being Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War and Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, though obviously it's the first non-Marvel, non-superhero movie to do so.
Will Ant-Man And The Wasp be able to claim the top spot two weeks in a row? It may be tough, given that this Friday we will see the arrival of Genndy Tartakovsky's animated Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, Rawson Marshall Thurber's Dwayne Johnson-actioner Skyscraper, and the theatrical expansion of Boots Riley's Sorry To Bother You. Be sure to come back next Sunday to see how it all shakes out.