Disney-Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp is flying high with an impressive $87 million opening weekend at 4,026 North American locations, early estimates showed Friday.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the 20th title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appears to be performing ahead of Disney’s recent forecasts in the $70 million to $85 million range. The superhero team-up, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, pulled in a solid $11.5 million on Thursday night.
Universal’s “The First Purge” got a two-day head start with a respectable $14 million at 3,031 North American locations on Wednesday and Thursday. Early estimates placed the fourth iteration of low-cost dystopian horror franchise at $17 million during the Friday-Sunday period.
If estimates hold, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will launch with the sixth-highest domestic debut of the year. Should it over-perform, it could become the 70th title to hit the $90 million mark in its launch weekend. The sequel will also wind up far ahead of the original “Ant-Man,” which opened with $57 million domestically two years ago. That 2015 Marvel title went on to earn $519 million globally.
Rudd and Lilly reprise their roles as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne/The Wasp, respectively — superheroes able to shrink themselves into the quantum realm. The sequel sees Scott Lang grappling with the struggle of being both a superhero and a father.
The cast also includes Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, and Bobby Cannavale. Peyton Reed, who oversaw the first film, returns to the director’s chair. Critics have embraced “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which carries an 86% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel, which has a reported $130 million budget, is also opening in 48% of international markets this weekend.