The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has officially begun Phase 5 with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the 31st installment of the iconic superhero franchise, and the third of the Ant-Man film.
Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 started on an uneven note. It had some hits like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and WandaVision, but also a number of misses in both TV shows and movies. With the pressure on for their next chapter, Quantumania attempts to get things back on track and advance the overarching narrative of the Multiverse Saga. However, this comes at a cost. The film had to sacrifice much of the whimsical appeal that made the previous Ant-Man movies stand out. Overall, Quantumania makes a valiant effort to course-correct. Yet, it remains to be seen if it will fully satisfy Marvel fans.
Although the movie has raked in significant box office sales in its early days, its critical reception has been less than stellar. In fact, it has become one of the most poorly reviewed Marvel Studios, earning a 47% “rotten” rating from both critics and fans. This rating ties it with the equally-maligned Eternals for being the lowest-rated MCU movie on the review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes. Adding insult to injury, it’s among five MCU movies without an A- rating from CinemaScore. In fact, it received the same lackluster grade as Eternals, a mere B, making it the lowest-rated movie in the entire MCU.
Ant-Man Scores $104 Million Debut
As we settle into 2023, the latest Walt Disney Co. release, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, has claimed the title of the largest opening of the year and the highest for any Ant-Man film. Studio estimates report a whopping $104 million in domestic ticket sales, surpassing the debuts of its predecessors with ease. But with less than a week since its release, the true test lies in its staying power and ability to sustain the momentum of the MCU.
The original Ant-Man flick opened with a modest $57.2 million in 2015, the smallest debut for any MCU movie. Its follow-up, Ant-Man and the Wasp premiered three years later to $75.8 million. Despite low opening box office results, the global revenues were $519M and $622M, showing profitability.
Regardless of reviews, theaters are optimistic that Quantumania will pave the way for more moviegoing experiences reminiscent of pre-pandemic times. However, despite the hype, it may not be the Phase 5 game-changer that fans hoped for. Furthermore, director Peyton Reed has stated that there are no guarantees for another Ant-Man movie.
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