Box office: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ marches to US$76 million launch

Cast members and crew attend the premiere of the movie Ant-Man and the Wasp in Los Angeles, California, US June 25, 2018. (Reuters pic)

LOS ANGELES: “Ant-Man and the Wasp” squashed the competition at the domestic box office.

The Marvel sequel — starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly — opened with US$76 million from 4,206 North American locations. That start is significantly ahead of the original “Ant-Man,” which debuted with US$57 million in 2015.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” easily topped the weekend, as fellow box office newcomer “The First Purge” scared up US$17 million from 3,031 theatres. Meanwhile, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” just narrowly secured the No. 2 slot for the third week in a row over “Incredibles 2.” The blockbusters earned US$28.6 million and US$28.3 million respectively this weekend.

Overseas, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” collected US$85 million, bringing the worldwide opening to US$161 million. Across 20 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought in US$17 billion globally. All 20 films have opened No. 1 at the box office.

Praise seems to be even stronger for “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which holds a promising 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. The acclaimed first film came in slightly lower with an 82% Rotten Tomatoes average.

With a production budget around US$162 million, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” looks like another win for Marvel. The studio has had a string of box office hits in 2018 with “Avengers: Infinity War” racking up over US$2 billion and counting, and “Black Panther” passing US$1.3 billion globally.

Universal and Blumhouse’s “The First Purge” debuted on Independence Day, getting a head start on the weekend. Its five-day total sits at US$31 million. Gerard McMurray directed the US$13 million film, which was written and produced by James DeMonaco. The fourth movie in the series serves as an origin story, starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, and Marisa Tomei.

The most recent iteration was 2016’s “The Purge: Election Year,” which ended its theatrical run with US$79 million domestically and US$118.5 million worldwide. “The “Purge” movies have pocketed over US$320 million globally.

Universal and Amblin Entertainment’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” recently charged past US$1 billion at the worldwide box office. In three weeks, the dinosaur tentpole has earned US$333.3 million in North America.

Now in its fourth frame, Disney-Pixar’s Incredibles 2″ just hit a major milestone of its own. Everyone’s favourite crime-fighting family has crossed the $500 million mark domestically and $700 million worldwide. It’s the first animated film to ever surpass $500 million at the North American box office, and the 12th film ever to do so. Internationally, “Incredibles 2” has made $269 million.

Also in the top five is Sony’s “Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” The Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin-led sequel picked up another US$7.6 million, taking the domestic tally to US$35 million.

At the specialty box office, Roadside Attractions’ Whitney” bowed with US$1.3 million from 452 locations. The documentary focusing on the life and career of Whitney Houston holds an A CinemaScore and a Rotten Tomatoes average of 90%.