Ant-Man and the Wasp got off to a great start at the box office, blowing the previous entry in the series out of the water. However, that doesn't mean the sequel is going to have an easy time beating the original when it comes to box office totals. While Ant-Man and the Wasp has already brought in over $80 million at the domestic box office, it's going to have a hard time breaking the $180 million that the first film did, because the competition is going to be much tougher this time around.
When the original Ant-Man opened in 2015, it won the box office two weekends in a row. Most of the big movies, like the first Jurassic World and Minions, had been out for a while. In addition, a lot of the movies that could have taken box office share away from the microscopic Marvel hero, like Pixels, Terminator: Genisys, or Fantastic Four, generally flopped, making Ant-Man's road a little easier. The only real competition that came out during the entire summer of 2015 following Ant-Man was Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
As Forbes points out, that's unlikely to happen this time around. This weekend sees Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper look to compete directly with the comic book action movie crowd, and even the younger set, for whom Ant-Man and the Wasp may be a better fit than your average Marvel movie, have Hotel Transylvania 3, a franchise which has done remarkably well at the box office in the past.
The future also include Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, and Disney's Christopher Robin all of which have the potential to stop Ant-Man and the Wasp in its tracks.
Of course, any of them could turn out to be flops, just as Ant-Man saw three years ago. The only one on the list that would seem to be a sure thing is Mission: Impossible - Fallout, most of the rest are less certain for one reason or another. But if even one of them hits, that's one more competitor than the first Ant-Man had to deal with.
That doesn't mean that Ant-Man and the Wasp is going to have any significant financial issues. The film has grossed nearly $170 million worldwide and has yet to open in China, where the first film did over $100 million. In fact, there are several international territories where the film has yet to open, so the global box office still has a long way to go.
We'll see how Ant-Man and the Wasp does for the rest of the summer. Even if the sequel does outdo the original, it seems unlikely it will do so with quite the power that it opened with. It does show that as important as a strong opening weekend is, it's not the end of the story.