Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday's Headlines - Weekend Box Office

The Marvel Studios sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp scored nearly $80 million on opening weekend, but in a rare move for Marvel, it was a case of underperformance according to some projections. While Disney expected an opening in the range of $70 million to $85 million, industry analysts pegged the Infinity War follow-up for an opening in the range of $80 million to $85 million after it pulled in $33 million on Friday, which would put it in line with the performance of Thor: The Dark World’s $85 million opening. However, it appears Ant-Man and the Wasp has come in just a bit under with a weekend estimate around $76 million. That’s still nearly $20 million above the first Ant-Man’s $57 million opening weekend, and Disney says it’s very happy with the results, but it marks Marvel’s fifth lowest opening ever, above only Ant-Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk.

The film certainly didn’t suffer from bad buzz. The reviews were kind to director Peyton Reed’s more assured follow-up, and it received an A- CinemaScore from audiences. But perhaps Marvel miscalculated by releasing a film so cut off from the rest of the MCU after that jaw-dropping Infinity War cliffhanger. Perhaps once folks found out Ant-Man and the Wasp was a true prequel to Infinity War and barely addressed that film’s events, they decided this was one Marvel movie that was inessential to understanding the full catalogue, and thus one they didn’t have to see ASAP.

This certainly isn’t doom and gloom—the film only missed projections by $4 million. But it’s so rare that a Marvel movie underperforms according to Friday estimates that it’s notable, and it’ll be interesting to see how the film performs in the weeks ahead. Keep in mind that once actual numbers come in on Monday, the film’s final total could actually be a bit higher. And the film’s doing fine internationally, even as it doesn’t open in some territories until after the World Cup. Its global total is currently at $161 million.

Elsewhere, Incredibles 2 notched another milestone. The Pixar sequel crossed the $700 million mark and has now pulled in $773 million worldwide, with a domestic total of $504 million domestic. It’s the first animated film to cross the $500 million domestic mark, making it the highest-grossing animated film ever at the domestic box office. And it just keeps going. Brad Bird has somewhat ruled out Incredibles 3, but how hard do we think Disney is going to twist his arm to bring the franchise back once more?

It’s a photo finish for the #2 slot, as Incredibles 2 pulled in an estimated $28.5 million while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took in $28.6 million. The Jurassic sequel is now at $333.3 million domestic and $1.058 billion globally, although it’s unlikely to touch the $1.6 billion the first Jurassic World made globally. Indeed, the sequel’s slowing down as it opened internationally far in advance of its domestic debut to get ahead of the World Cup.

The First Purge, meanwhile, grossed an estimated $17.2 million for the weekend, bringing its five-day total to $31.1 million. That’s right in line with expectations and is probably a good sign for the future of the franchise.