In just under a month, Marvel will release its third and final movie of the year, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and today we have the first box office tracking data, indicating a much more modest result than Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War. Early tracking data suggests that Ant-Man and the Wasp will pull in $75 million in its opening weekend, a solid jump over the $57.2 million earned by 2015's Ant-Man in its debut. Ant-Man and the Wasp won't have too much competition either, with only Universal's The First Purge opening on July 4, two days ahead of its July 6 opening.
While this debut would certainly be a welcomed one for Marvel, it still pales in comparison to the massive numbers put up by Black Panther ($202 million opening, $699.4 million domestic, $1.3 billion worldwide) and Avengers: Infinity War ($257.8 million opening, $657.2 million domestic, $2 billion worldwide). Regardless, no one was expecting Ant-Man and the Wasp to break the bank at the box office, but it may also do better than expected, especially with such limited competition. Given that the original Ant-Man is still near the bottom in every MCU box office category, any improvement would be welcomed.
We projected a $60.2 million debut for Ant-Man and the Wasp in our summer movie predictions list, with a final domestic total prediction of $310 million. While that may be a bit high for a debut of that caliber, the fact that there isn't as much blockbuster competition as their should be for the month of July could mean this superhero sequel has more longevity than expected, and if it does hit $75 million or more in its opening weekend, a domestic total of $310 million may not be out of the realm of possibilities. It will face movies like Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation and Skyscraper on July 13, followed by The Equalizer 2, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Unfriended: The Dark Web on July 20 and Mission: Impossible Fallout and Teen Titans Go to the Movies on July 27.
2015's Ant-Man opened with $57.2 million en route to a domestic tally of $180.2 million and $519.3 million worldwide. Of the 19 movies released in the MCU thus far, Ant-Man's opening weekend ranks 18th, behind only The Incredible Hulk ($55.4 million), with its domestic tally 17th, ahead of just Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6 million) and The Incredible Hulk ($134.8 million) and its worldwide tally 16th, ahead of just Thor ($449.3 million), Captain America: The First Avenger ($370.6 million) and The Incredible Hulk ($263.4 million). While the sequel doesn't look like it will match the upper echelon of the MCU, it will still likely be a decided improvement.
Peyton Reed returns to direct Ant-Man and the Wasp, working from a script by star Paul Rudd, Gabriel Ferrari, Andrew Barrer, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. Paul Rudd returns as Ant-Man with Evangeline Lilly returning as The Wasp, along with other Ant-Man stars such as Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), T.I. (Dave), David Dastmalchian (Kurt), Michael Pena (Luis), Judy Greer (Maggie Lang) and Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang). Newcomers include Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, Michelle Pfieffer as Janet Van Dyne, Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster and Randall Park as Jimmy Woo. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on this box office projection.