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Weekend Predictions: Will the Wasp Help Ant-Man Grow at the Box Office?

July 5th, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp

It’s technically the July 4th Weekend, although July 4th was yesterday. This is a good weekend to release a film and Ant-Man and the Wasp is looking to take advantage of the holiday. Meanwhile, The First Purge already started its run with $2.5 million in previews. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2 will continue to be a major presence at the box office. This weekend last year, Spider-Man: Homecoming opened with $117.03 million. There’s no way Ant-Man and the Wasp is going to match that. It’s highly unlikely Ant-Man and the Wasp and The First Purge combined will match that. The depth this year is a little better, but I think 2018 will lose in the year-over-year comparison. Hopefully it will be close.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the 20th film in the MCU. To put this into perspective, the only other theatrical franchise to reach that number is James Bond, and it’s been around five times as long. The first Ant-Man was the weakest installment in Phase Two of the MCU and most expect this film to be the weakest in Phase Three. The current holder of that title is Doctor Strange, which earned $232.64 million domestically and $677.32 million worldwide. This film’s reviews are ever so slightly ahead of its predecessor’s reviews, although it is close enough that this could change by the end of the weekend. Even if it does, having a Tomatometer higher than 80% positive is a good sign. Earlier tracking had the movie earning between $60 million and $80 million during its opening weekend. Presales for Ant-Man and the Wasp are better than Doctor Strange’s early sales, which does mean this film could open with more than $90 million. I’m not that bullish, but I do think it will get close to $80 million during its opening weekend. Let’s go with $78 million.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom should be next with just under $28 million over the weekend for a three-week total of about $328 million. The film should hit $300 million by the end of business on Thursday, but if not, it will get there early on Friday.

Incredibles 2 should be right behind with just over $27 million over the weekend for a four-week total of $500 million, more or less. The film has a 50/50 chance of hitting it in just four weeks of release. The film has barely hit the halfway mark of its international run, so it should have no trouble becoming the fourth film released in 2018 to get to $1 billion worldwide. I don’t think it will be the last.

The First Purge is the fourth film in The Purge franchise. None of the previous three films have earned $100 million domestically, but all three combined cost just $22 million to make. Likewise, none of the films have won over the critics with the film’s Tomatometer scores running from 38% positive to 56% positive positive. Normally this amount of data would help us predict the opening weekend, especially with a franchise that’s this consistent. However, this is the first film to open on a Wednesday, so that completely messes up the numbers. We do have its midnight previews, as it earned $2.5 million on Tuesday. Again, this doesn’t help, because there are simply not enough other films to compare it to. There are not enough Wednesday openings, and certainly not enough openings where July 4th lands on a Wednesday. My gut feeling says this is a good result. I still don’t think it will top the other films’ opening weekends, because it is a Wednesday release. I think it will earn more over the five day weekend with $22 million / $36 million.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Uncle Drew should be in a close race for fifth place, each earning about $8 million. Sicario: Day of the Soldado has a slight advantage.

- Ant-Man and the Wasp Comparisons
- The First Purge Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ant-Man and the Wasp, The First Purge, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Uncle Drew, James Bond, Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Purge