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Ant-Man and the Wasp’s second-weekend box office drop continues MCU slump

Not even Marvel can sustain Marvel numbers

Kang sits in his multiversal space ship throne in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Image: Marvel Studios
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had a rough second week at the box office, even by recent Marvel Cinematic Universe standards. During its four-day opening weekend, Quantumania brought in $144 million at the box office, but in its second weekend, the film dropped almost 70%, worse than any other recent MCU movie.

Quantumania’s second weekend did still manage to emerge at the top spot in the domestic box office, beating out both Cocaine Bear and Jesus Revolution. However, Marvel’s latest offering only earned $32 million during the three days, giving it a drop off of 69.7%, which is certainly continues a worrying trend for Disney. Up until now, the largest drop off for a second weekend in Marvel’s history had been 67%, shared by other relatively recent MCU releases Black Widow, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder — Wakanda Forever managed to drop only 63%.

Though $144 million is the best debut among Marvel’s three Ant-Man films, it’s also among the lower end of recent MCU fare. Marvel’s first opening of 2022 was also its most impressive, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness picking up $187 million in its first few days. Disney ended the superhero year with another strong premiere from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which drew $181 million in its first weekend. Meanwhile, Thor: Love and Thunder came in at a comparatively disappointing $144 million, which matches Quantumania’s total — though the Ant-Man movie had the benefit of a holiday weekend to extend its opening and increase its ticket sales.

Though these movies’ openings are important, it’s the continued week-over-week success where Marvel hopes Ant-Man 3 reverses the studio’s recent run of box office disappointments — even if, by non-MCU standards, they’re still hauling in plenty. Both Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever failed to reach the financial heights of their characters’ preceding films, with Love and Thunder falling nearly $100 million off Thor: Ragnarok’s mark in 2017, and Wakanda Forever trailing 2018’s Black Panther by nearly $500 million.

This puts Quantumania in a tremendously difficult position as it hopes to reach for box office heights. With a forgettable opening and a bigger drop than previous movies, it’s going to struggle to reach the kind of returns that Disney might be hoping for, especially for the start of a brand new phase.

While Quantumania avoided the extreme lows of other recent Marvel openings like Eternals, which managed only $71 million on its first weekend in 2021, it’s clear Marvel is a little worried about its fans getting burnt out. A week before the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania premiered, Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested during Disney’s quarterly investor call that Marvel would be releasing a bit less content in the near future and that “more aggressive curation” might be good for the MCU’s future.