Many people are now of the opinion that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is not doing well at the box office. The third installment in Disney’s superhero franchise had a fantastic start, earning $106 million domestically in February and surpassing the previous records set by the previous two standalone Ant-Man movies. However, ticket sales plummeted in the following weeks. As a result, there are concerns that Ant-Man 3 might not meet the $500 million global box office mark, a rare occurrence for a Marvel movie.
Ant-Man 3’s disappointing Box Office Results
Six weeks after its release, the movie has only generated $470 million in global box office revenue, which is only marginally better than some of Disney’s Marvel movies released during the pandemic such as Black Widow ( over $379 million globally, despite also premiering on Disney+) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($432 million), and is far behind other recent movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($955 million) and Thor: Love and Thunder ($760 million). Although Ant-Man is not one of Marvel’s top-tier superheroes like Thor or Doctor Strange, it’s even more concerning that Ant-Man 3 is unlikely to surpass the box office totals of its predecessors, Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, which earned $519 million and $622 million, respectively.
Despite a production budget of $200 million and a marketing spend of over $100 million, Ant-Man 3 is not expected to reach the approximately $600 million required to break even at the box office. Unlike recent Marvel releases such as Black Widow and Eternals, which were released either on Disney+ or during the height of the pandemic, Quantumania does not have those same excuses for its poor box office performance. Additionally, the movie has received unfavorable reviews. However, there is some hope that the film may still recover some of its costs through home entertainment and other ancillary markets.
What are the experts saying about the slump in the box office?
According to David A. Gross, who leads the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, Ant-Man 3 failed to satisfy audiences. He notes that while superhero fans are usually highly engaged with the stories, the poor reception hurt the movie in this case. Box office numbers confirm that the film struggled to maintain interest after its opening weekend. While Marvel movies have traditionally been immune to steep drops in box office performance, Ant-Man 3 is expected to have a low multiple, meaning that its gross from its debut weekend will only be barely twice the total domestic gross. The original Ant-Man movie achieved a multiple of 3.2, while the sequel garnered a multiple of 2.9.
Quantumania has grossed $209 million in North America, surpassing the first movie’s gross of $180 million but behind Ant-Man and the Wasp at $216 million. It is expected to surpass its predecessor eventually but still falls far short of the high expectations set by its impressive opening weekend of $106 million domestically.
What next for The Marvels Cinematic Universe?
Marvel’s dominance at the box office has hit a rough patch, with recent releases like Ant-Man 3. Marvel’s counterpart DC has also struggled with Shazam: Fury of the Gods failing to meet expectations. Industry analysts suggest that this signals a shift towards the importance of quality, rather than just relying on the popularity of comic book adaptations.
Although Marvel’s upcoming films such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse are anticipated to be successful, there is apprehension about the future of the franchise as it transitions from its iconic heroes to less familiar characters. As the responsibility for box office success shifts to newer heroes, the quality of the movies will be crucial in maintaining the emotional investment of audiences beyond opening weekend.
According to Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst at BoxOfficePro, Phase 5 is critical for the broader context of the MCU and its box office dominance.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is currently in theatres worldwide.