Long Range Box Office Forecast: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Tracking for Mini-Marvel Franchise Best; Will It Become 2023’s First $100M+ Opener?

Photo Credits: Disney & Marvel Studios ("Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania")

2023’s first major tentpole is just four weeks away, representing the first of three Marvel Cinematic Universe theatrical releases this year.

Here’s what’s driving preliminary tracking for the anticipated sequel.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Disney & Marvel Studios
February 17, 2023

PROS:

  • Preliminary social metrics, trailer imprints, and the first three days of pre-sales this week line up with expected parameters for this particular Marvel sequel at this stage of the pre-release cycle.
  • With Presidents Day on Monday in mind, three- and four-day weekend trajectories will benefit from those off work and out of school for the holiday.
  • Marketing and trailer releases have permeated media in recent weeks, raising awareness and specifically igniting conversation around the feature film introduction of Kang, played by Jonathan Majors, increasingly known to represent the franchise’s next arc-based villain.
  • As the first tentpole release since December’s Avatar: The Way of Water, consumer hunger for another premium big screen outing should be high come mid-February, particularly after what will be a relatively depressed market weekend for the Super Bowl one week prior.
  • Both Ant-Man films have been crowd-pleasers with slightly less front-loading than is common of other MCU sub-franchises. Combined, they’ve earned $396.9 million domestically and over $1.14 billion worldwide across just two films.
  • Promising to kick off the MCU’s Phase 5, fan excitement is high as the franchise enters a crucial point of the Multiverse Saga spanning the next few years of Marvel’s plans. If reception more akin to the likes of Spider-Man: No Way Home or Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings comes to fruition, Quantumania has a fair shot at over-performing current forecasts.
  • Naturally, Quantumania will have the full spread of IMAX and other premium screens upon release with minimal competition until March.

CONS:

  • Phase 4 of the MCU was demonstrably the most challenging of the franchise in terms of audience reception, with several theatrical entries and Disney+ series combining to generate sentiment not quite reaching the high bar Marvel previously set for itself. (Still, most of the phase’s releases proved very successful in the grand scheme of things.)
  • The prior Ant-Man films have been comparatively insular in terms of storytelling, so it remains to be seen how the wider-ranging (and traversing) implications of Quantumania impact upfront audience interest versus long-term playability as the MCU overall has become increasingly front-loaded.
  • In general, with this sub-franchise having met mid-tier performance thresholds domestically compared to past duologies and trilogies featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, expectations should be managed when it comes to box office prospects until there’s a clearer sense of quality and audience reception.
  • Though not necessarily a point against the film, pre-sales comparisons will be challenging against recent Marvel releases due to the time of year.

    Based on independent sampling, Quantumania is currently generating around 76 percent of total opening day (Thursday previews and true Friday combined) pre-sales from Thursday by itself, relative to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s 66 percent and Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness‘s 61 percent Thursday share at the same point in time after sales began.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2023’s Upcoming Calendar
(as of 1/20/23)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Distributor
1/25/2023 Pathaan         Yash Raj Films
1/27/2023 Fear         Hidden Empire Film Group
2/1/2023 BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas         Trafalgar Releasing
2/2/2023 The Chosen: Season 3 Finale         Fathom Events / Angel Studios
2/3/2023 80 for Brady $7,000,000 – $12,000,000 +29% $23,000,000 – $45,000,000 +25% Paramount Pictures
2/3/2023 The Amazing Maurice         Viva Pictures
2/3/2023 Knock at the Cabin $18,000,000 – $27,000,000   $47,000,000 – $77,000,000   Universal Pictures
2/3/2023 Sword Art Online The Movie -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night         Crunchyroll / Sony
2/10/2023 Magic Mike’s Last Dance $19,000,000 – $28,000,000 -6% $43,000,000 – $65,000,000 -6% Warner Bros. Pictures
2/10/2023 Titanic (25 Year Anniversary) $8,000,000 – $13,000,000   $18,000,000 – $34,000,000   Paramount Pictures
2/15/2023 Marlowe $1,000,000 – $3,000,000   $2,500,000 – $8,000,000   Open Road Films
2/17/2023 Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania $96,000,000 – $131,000,000   $249,000,000 – $347,000,000   Disney / Marvel Studios

Unless otherwise noted, all figures above represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation at the time of this report’s publication date. These are statistical snapshots, not final forecasts.

Additional pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections for theatrical movies up to 12 months from release are available to clients.

For more information about this article or to report any corrections, please contact the author.

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