Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s opening weekend box office projections estimate that the upcoming Marvel film will earn less than last summer’s Thor: Love and Thunder. Directed once again by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to kick off Phase 5 of the MCU after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever closed out Phase 4 last November. The upcoming film sees Paul Rudd’s hero transported to the Quantum Realm with his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), where they face off against new big bad Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
According to new data shared by Box Office Pro, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is projected to earn between $96 million to $131 million domestically in its opening weekend. Even at the higher end of these projections, the film will still fall short of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which earned $144 million domestically in its opening weekend. Presuming the third Ant-Man film opens within the projected range, the film, while opening much stronger than the previous two entries in Reed’s franchise ($57.2 million and $76 million, respectively), will also fall far short of the opening weekends of Marvel’s biggest two 2022 movies, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness ($185 million) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($181 million).
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Why Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Is Crucial To The MCU
jonathan majors as kang the conqueror in ant-man 3
In contrast to previous films in the franchise, which were generally lighter in tone and considered by Reed himself to be “palete cleaners” of a sort, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to have a much bigger impact on the MCU. In addition to kicking off MCU Phase 5, the second of the Multiverse Saga, the upcoming film is also introducing potentially Marvel’s most powerful villain to date. Kang is slated to be an Avengers-level threat at the same level of Josh Brolin’s Thanos, and will serve as the central antagonist in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and possibly Avengers: Secret Wars as well, the two biggest movies of Phase 6.
Phase 4 of the MCU has also been heavily focused on introducing a new generation of heroes for audiences to root for. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduces America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), Hawkeye introduces Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), Ms. Marvel introduces Kamala Kahn (Iman Vellani), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduces Shuri (Letitia Wright as the new Black Panther, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may be no different in this regard. Unlike in previous entries in the franchise, Cassie, Scott’s daughter, is slated to play a much more important role this time around, potentially signaling that Rudd is getting ready to pass the torch.
MCU Phase 4 has proven, in many ways, to be the most divisive yet, with particular criticism levied at the fact that many of the films don’t feel like part of an overarching story. While Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has largely been marketed around the fact that it is a crucial film in terms of the larger MCU, the box office projections, while still impressive, don’t necessarily reflect this. It remains to be seen how Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will set up characters and events to come, but it’s certainly possible positive reviews and strong word-of-mouth from audiences will help the film perform more strongly over time.