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Quantumania Box Office Towers Like Giant-Man Over The First Two Ant-Man Films

The MCU's "Ant-Man" films dare to ask the question that no one else does: "How many shrinking characters can we fit into one movie?" To the aptly named superhero's credit, Marvel started slowly in the first film. 2015's "Ant-Man" features newly released convict Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) trying to get his life together. Unfortunately, post-correctional life is difficult for many and he falls into an old habit: stealing. Scott takes Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) shrinking suit and his life changes forever. In 2018's "Ant-Man and the Wasp," Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) suited up to take up her mother's mantle as the Wasp, and in the new "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," Scott's teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) has a suit of her own — making a trio of insect-sized heroes.  

The previous "Ant-Man" movies did relatively well in theaters. Still, they were definitely in the lower tier of box office earnings compared to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, performing only marginally better than the pandemic-era films like "Eternals" and "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," as well as very early MCU projects like original "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger." But while the first two "Ant-Man" films dealt with small-scale threats, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" is much more ambitious than its previous iterations, taking on both the Quantum Realm and the franchise's next big bad: Kang (Jonathan Majors). And much like Scott in his super-sized Giant-Man form stomping around the Quantum Realm, this latest "Ant-Man" is squashing its predecessors at the box office.

Box office numbers are huge despite negative reviews

For its opening weekend debut, "Ant-Man: Quantamania" has surpassed the $100 million mark in the US. According to The Numbers, the $104 million debut makes it far and away the most successful "Ant-Man" film, as the first installment earned $57.2 million in its opening weekend, and the sequel $75.8 million. The film is also benefiting from premiering during a holiday weekend in the US, achieving the status of the third-best Presidents' Day debut of all time (a record held by 2018's "Black Panther.") 

This goes to show that the quality of the film does not mean much when it comes to certain properties. Though some early reactions to "Ant-Man: Quantumania" were exciting, they also revealed some doubts. But by the time all of the critical reviews came out, the film became only the second MCU film to earn the dubious honor of "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes, beating out only "Eternals." Marvel fans will clearly turn out for any film in the connected franchise, especially to see the debut of Kang. As Marvel's Phase Four was underwhelming for many viewers, it's not a great kick-off to Phase Five. But as Kang will continue to be the major villain of the Multiverse Saga, Majors' impressive acting talent might just continue to carry the MCU right to the bank.