Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” has earned $17.5 million at the box office from Thursday preview screenings, and whether that’s good or bad depends on what past Marvel Cinematic Universe films you compare it to.
On the one hand, “Quantumania” has easily passed the $12 million preview total earned by the last “Ant-Man and the Wasp” film back in July 2018 and edges the $17 million Thursday preview total of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in May 2017. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” went on to open to $75.8 million, and “Quantumania” is expected to top that with Disney projecting a $95 million 3-day opening.
In terms of 4-day openings for Presidents’ Day weekend, Disney is projecting a $110 million extended launch while independent projections have gone a little higher at $120 million. Either figure would mark the highest February opening weekend since “Black Panther” in 2018.
On the other hand, this total is below the Thursday previews for last year’s MCU films, all of which cleared $25 million with the lowest being “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” at $28 million. “Ant-Man: and the Wasp: Quantumania” is heading into its opening weekend with some of the poorest critics reviews for any MCU film, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 48% that is flirting with the lowest score ever for Marvel Studios. That record that currently belongs to “Eternals” at 47%.
That doesn’t seem to be stopping Marvel devotees from embracing the film, as it currently has an audience RT score of 84%. But it remains to be seen whether casual audiences will also embrace “Quantumania” in later weekends and push its box office total well past its “Ant-Man” predecessors.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is a pivotal film for Marvel Studios as it begins the run-up to “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” the next team-up blockbuster from the studio that is coming out in summer 2025. But it may not be Marvel’s highest grossing film in 2023, as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” the final film from director James Gunn before he fully transitions to his new job as co-CEO of DC Studios, is getting Marvel’s plum release slot on the first weekend of May.