'Ant-Man and the Wasp' marches to US$76m launch

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Unfortunately, this summer's sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp opts to do away with any scrap of real-world science in favor of slapping a "quantum" label on everything and relying on magical hand-waving instead of practical solutions.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp" easily topped the weekend, as fellow box office newcomer "The First Purge" scared up $17 million from 3,031 theaters.

The flick opened Thursday with $11.5 million - almost double that of the first movie - but its Friday, Saturday and Sunday numbers didn't hold as high, which basically means a lot of the hard core fans went to see it Thursday night. The worldwide opening marks a strong 45% increase over the global debut of Ant-Man, and it managed to put up these solid numbers without the help of a release in China, the second largest box office market in the world.

I haven't seen it myself, TBH, and I haven't heard anything about it from my "non-geeky" friends (i.e. nothing on my personal social media); so I think everybody has been outside enjoying the sunshine and involved with other activities.

This is intriguing, because in a movie landscape where doomsayers constantly predict the breaking point of superhero movie saturation is right around the corner, the masked and caped genre in general, and Marvel Studios in particular, have been doing much of the heavy lifting at the box office.

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Including the debut weekend of Ant-Man and The Wasp, Marvel Studios has officially grossed over $17 billion worldwide in the span of 20 films.

But where does "Ant-Man and the Wasp" place in the pantheon? The blockbusters earned US$29 million and US$28.6 million respectively this weekend.

Solo: A Star Wars Story fell from number nine to number fourteen at the USA box office. So far, Solo has made $380 million at the worldwide box office. In three weeks, the dinosaur tentpole has earned US$333.3 million in North America. Everyone's favourite crime-fighting family has crossed the US$500 million mark domestically and US$700 million worldwide. The Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin-led sequel picked up another $7.6 million, taking the domestic tally to $35 million. Solo made just under $1 million domestically, bringing its domestic box office total to $211 million.

Also opening in limited release was Annapurna's "Sorry to Bother You", which landed the best per screen average of the weekend with $44,881. Boots Riley's film brought in US$717,302 when it opened in 16 theatres. In five weeks, the documentary on Fred Rogers has amassed an impressive $12.4 million.

The 2018 box office, which just hit US$6.5 billion, is up 9 per cent from previous year, according to ComScore.

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