Ant-Man opens big with $104 Million
Continuing its unprecedented run, Marvel was able to capture first place for the 31st film in a row as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opened to $104 million, which comes in ahead of where tracking saw it on Thursday (although, to toot my own horn, which I so rarely get to do, I figured this one had the momentum to get to that century mark.) That opening includes a $46 million Friday haul, which makes it the third highest opening day in February after 2018’s Black Panther with $75.9 million and 2016’s Deadpool with $47.3 million.
The good news for this release is that despite it getting some of the worst reviews of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (with the notable exception of our own JimmyO who gave it a solid 8/10 in his review), the audience seems to be enjoying it, as it currently has an audience score of 84% with many people saying how impressed they were with Jonathan Majors’ Kang The Conquerer. Good thing, as he appears to be the new Thanos for this next batch of Marvel films, culminating in 2025’s Avengers: Kang Dynasty. I use the term culminating very loosely as I am not super versed in the world of comic books, just comic book movies, so I have no idea if this character will make it past the Kang Dynasty to fight in 2026’s Avengers: Secret Wars and beyond.
This represents the best opening of the Ant-Man franchise with the original film taking in $57.2 million when it opened on July 17, 2015 on its way to a $180.2 million domestic finish, followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp opening to $75.8 million on July 6, 2018 on its way to a $216.6 million domestic total. Which is to say that the Marvel brand still brings in the dollars. Although, this one is a bit of a drop off from the last few Marvel openings as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was able to secure $181.3 in its opening while before that you had Thor: Love & Thunder open with $144.1 million, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness open with $187.4 and the behemoth known as Spider-Man: No Way Home taking in $260.1 million in its first three days.
The question going forward will be what type of hold Quantumania has. Next week sees Cocaine Bear hit theaters. Personally speaking, I can not wait to see that movie, but I’m not sure it has the mass appeal to take down the Ant. It may be Jonathan Majors himself who must defeat Jonathan Majors at the box office when his other villainous role in Creed III opens on March 3rd.
Despite losing nearly all its premium screens, Avatar: The Way of Water continues its historic theatrical run with an additional $6.1 million added to its domestic total as it takes down the resurrected dinosaurs of Jurassic World to become the ninth highest grossing domestic release of all time.
Third place is the rock hard abs of Channing Tatum as Magic Mike’s Last Dance added another $5.5 million to its box office cume which is currently at $18.1 million. Despite that lack of box office dollars, this release serves as a great piece of promotion for its eventual streaming release. Whereas, had it just been dumped there from the start, no one would be talking about it two weeks later.
Coming in fourth place is the continued domination of the family friendly feline Puss in Boots: The Last Wish with an additional $5.2 million, dropping just 6% from last weekends take. In the nine weeks since the film has been in theaters it has amassed an impressive $166 million. We will see if numbers begin to drop off next week as the film is set to hit Blu Ray on February 28.
Rounding out the top five is M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin with $3.9 million bringing its domestic total to just over $30 million. Sure, this is a far cry from the massive box office his films would get twenty years ago, but when you consider the fact that Night has been self financing his films since The Visit (even re-mortgaging his house to make Knock at the Cabin) and they have all pulled a profit, it’s no wonder he was able to ink a massive deal with Warner Brothers this week.
Spots six and seven belong to the ladies of 80 For Brady as that film adds another $3.6 million to its $32.2 million total while the 25th Anniversary Release of Titanic adds another $2.2 million to its box office tally which currently sits at over $670 million domestic, when you combine its original release and all of the re-releases over the years.
Coming in eight place is the new Noir release Marlowe starring Liam Neeson based off the old Raymond Chandler books with just $1.9 million. Reviews for this one have been on the poor side (currently sitting at a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes) although our own Chris Bumbray found enough to enjoy out this one with his 8/10 review. I saw this one a few days ago, and it was a decent enough mystery but I can’t lie, there were a few times I found my mind wandering due to what was going on on the screen not holding my attention.
Rounding out the top ten are your holdovers Missing with $1.7 million and the Tom Hanks starring A Man Called Otto with an additional $1.6 million added to its solid $60.6 million total. While outside the top ten, the long awaited (?) Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey was released to a $1.5 million opening, No doubt the marketing for this one had viewers curious, especially since the trailers seemed to get more polished as time went on (the original trailer, and the film that was eventually released, looked like a group of middle schoolers got together with their dads old 8mm camcorder, threw a “please don’t sue us” Winnie The Pooh mask on someone, gave them a weapon and yelled action!) Reviews for this one have been absolutely horrible (including our own Tyler Nichols who gave it just a 2/10 rating in his review). The internet chatter I have seen on this one have most calling it the worst movie they have ever seen, and not even in a “so bad its good” kind of way while I must admit I have seen some people say they have enjoyed it is as a throwback to bad horror B movies. So, I guess like always: if you are interested in this thing at all, its best just to see it and form your own opinion!
The 2023 box office is nearing the $1 Billion mark already which puts it over 50% above where it was last year. Of course we can attribute that to behemoths like Avatar and now Ant-Man but also the more adult skewing films like 80 For Brady and A Man Called Otto are showing that audiences of all types are finally making their way back to theaters.
Did you make it to the cinema this week? If so, let us know what you saw and don’t forget to check out our weekly poll where we ask: What Your Favorite Paul Rudd Movie is.