Marvel may have just broken another box office record, but not for the reasons one might think.
The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). The third in the Ant-Man franchise, the film took a light-hearted direction, following more along the path of Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) than Avengers: Endgame (2019). And unfortunately, this direction has worked against Marvel, with Ant-Man and the Wasp making $106 million during opening weekend and receiving a score of 84% from Rotten Tomatoes after an original score of 43%.
Now, it seems as though Ant-Man will in fact set a box office record, but not in a good way. The Wrap has reported that in its second Friday in theaters, the film only grossed $8.2 million, with total weekend sales projected at a 71% drop from opening weekend. This marks the worst box office drop for a film’s second weekend over any other Marvel or superhero film.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the first in Marvel’s Phase Five, setting up the new villain of the Phase, and setting things in motion for the next several films. The box office numbers come in the wake of news being leaked about Marvel Studios spreading their VFX artists too thin and rushing them to complete several projects at once. This forced them to cut corners where they normally wouldn’t have and did not allow them to put the time and energy into some of the CGI and VFX effects that Marvel has become known for in the past decade.
On top of these hits to the Studio, Marvel has quietly announced a delayed release of The Marvels, now releasing in November instead of June, with several Disney+ projects being pushed to 2024. Marvel has released an abundance of shows and films in the last few years, dropping eight shows to Disney+ during 2021 and 2022. It seems as if their hastiness is catching up to them, and hopefully the fan and box office reactions will help them adjust their approach to the next few Phases.
Did you see Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania yet? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!