Weekend Forecast: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ & ‘The First Purge’

The 20th chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to kick off July as part of the tail end of Independence Day weekend. How will it fare in a competitive midsummer market? Our final analysis:

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Opening Weekend Range: $75 – 95 million

Mostly positive reviews and the MCU’s general goodwill are the driving forces heading into the final hours before release. Goodwill from the 2015 origin story will provide additional help, as will the desire by families for a lighter chapter in the Marvel mythology. Still, the franchise is at a unique crossroads coming off their first major cliffhanger in Avengers: Infinity War, which could hinder other fans’ interest in a story taking place prior to that pivotal film.

Social media tracking has been lighter than expected with Twitter activity trailing that of Doctor Strange, and even the first Ant-Man at times. Overall interest models are comparable to Strange and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Beyond the numbers, two key factors could drive some over-performance: Marvel’s first title-headlining female superhero (Evangeline Lilly’s The Wasp) should draw significant interest, and recent trailer spots have hyped up the ending of this film while teasing where these characters might have been during the events of Infinity War. That could be enough to spur the curiosity of those on the fence about this sequel.

Ultimately, though, this isn’t a film expected nor required to open over the $100 million threshold that Marvel has become accustomed to, and even a debut around $75 million would represent a 31 percent increase from the first Ant-Man‘s $57.2 million debut three summers ago. It’s certainly possible to achieve more, but a debut on the conservative end of expectations would still qualify as a success for this one.

The studio’s official range entering the weekend is $70 – 85 million.

The First Purge
Opening Weekend Range: $17 – 22 million (3-day)

As is expected of franchises on their fourth chapter (particularly of the horror/thriller variety), general models are pacing behind those of its recent predecessors. Still, this is a series that has made a habit of beating expectations and capturing some of the zeitgeist with its not-so-subtle social and cultural relevancy. With little out there for the target audience so far this summer, this one could continue that streak. The studio expects a five-day opening around $25 million.

Top 10 Comparisons

Boxoffice’s base line projection for this weekend’s top ten films stands at $185 million or more, representing around as much as a 7 percent decline from the same frame last year when Spider-Man: Homecoming launched to $117 million atop the post-Independence Day box office. That weekend’s top ten accounted for $198.3 million.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, July 8 % Change from Last Wknd
Ant-Man and the Wasp Disney / Marvel $82,000,000 $82,000,000 NEW
Incredibles 2 Disney / Pixar $27,300,000 $500,000,000 -41%
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Universal $27,200,000 $327,500,000 -55%
The First Purge Universal $19,000,000 $28,500,000 NEW
Sicario: Day of the Soldado Sony / Columbia $8,600,000 $35,600,000 -55%
Uncle Drew Lionsgate / Summit $7,700,000 $30,800,000 -50%

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