FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Disney/Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is headed to being the third highest opening for Presidents Day weekend as well as February. While 4-day estimates are wild between $115M-$125M, today is shaping up to be around $44M (that includes last night’s $17.5M) for a 3-day at $100M at 4,345 theaters. These are industry estimates.
Top 3-days of February and Presidents Day are Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther ($202M) and 20th Century Fox/Marvel’s Deadpool ($132.4M).
Early PostTrak exits from last night were 75% positive, 3 1/2 stars with a 60% recommend, tougher than the usual Marvel Thursday night crowd. 90% of the crowd were non-family audiences, while 10% were families. Parents and kids are 12 scored Quantumania much higher at 4 1/2 and 5 stars respectively. Thursday night’s general crowd was comprised of 66% men, 34% female with men over 25 at 43% (73% grade), men under 25 at 24% (72% grade), women under 25 at 15% (79% grade) and women over 25 at 19% (giving the pic its highest grade of 80%). Diversity turnout was 36% Caucasian, 30% Latin and Hispanic, Black 18% and Asian 11%. Among the under 12 set, more boys than girls at 67% to 33%. We’ll have more updates of these exits.
The rest of the top five includes Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish at 2,675 with a robust ninth weekend of $6.4M over 3 (+15%) and $8.5M over 4 days getting the animated sequel to $169.3M, beating last year’s domestic final of Sing 2 ($162.7M). The pic’s Friday is $1.45M.
Third belongs to the tenth weekend of 20th/Lightstorm/Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water at 2,675 locations with a $1.4M Friday, with a $6.5M 3-day (-10%), 4 day of $8.1M, running total of $659M which will make the James Cameron directed movie the 9th highest of all-time on the domestic box office list.
Fourth is Warner Bros.’ second weekend of Magic Mike’s Last Dance at 3,034 with a $1.5M Friday, 3 day of $4.7M (-43%), 4-day of $5.4M and running total just under $18M.
Paramount’s 80 for Brady is fifth at 3,119 with a third Friday of $1.05M, 3-day of $4M, -31%, 4-day of $4.7M and running total of $33.3M.
UPDATE after EXCLUSIVE: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s Thursday came in at $17.5M per Disney, $500K ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s previews in 2017.
That figure also is ahead the previews for last year’s Avatar: The Way of Water ($17M, $134M opening), about the same as Jurassic World: Dominion ($18M, $145M opening) and not far from Top Gun: Maverick ($19M opening and $127M 3-day).
Quantumania‘s preview number also leads 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok ($15M Thursday, $123M opening), 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp ($12M previews, $76M 3 day) and 2015’s Ant-Man ($6M, $57M 3-day).
Internationally, Thursday saw Quantumania open in a 26 additional material markets, including Australia, Brazil and Mexico, taking the full total to 43 to date, and the first two days have seen it earn an estimated $23.8M abroad. Nancy will have more later in our international update.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: We’re hearing from box office sources that Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania zoomed to a $17M-$18M last night in previews from showtimes that started at 3 p.m. That figure, which could be higher or lower once Disney officially reports later this morning, is where Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s Thursday night was back in 2017, at $17M.
The Thursday night previews for Marvel’s crop last year were Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($36M), Thor: Love & Thunder ($29M) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($28M).
Industry projections have the 4-day for Quantumania at $120M, but Disney thinks it’s between $105M-$110M. Nonetheless, the threequel is bound to set an opening record for the Ant-Man franchise and be the third-best Presidents Day opening ever after 2018’s Black Panther ($242.1M) and 2016’s Deadpool ($152.1M). Advance ticket sales earlier this week were tracking 15% behind Thor: Love and Thunder, which opened to $144.1M.
That said, according to Boxoffice Pulse data, Quantumania is outpacing the first two Ant-Man movies in presales and showtimes and is well-positioned to be the top-selling February release since 2018’s Black Panther. The film lands at 3,500-plus locations with more than 50K showtimes programmed throughout the weekend, according to The Boxoffice Company, which powers showtimes and ticketing for Google, IMDb, Bing, TikTok, Apple and many others.
Critics have been unusually cruel on this Marvel movie, giving it 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is very close to where Eternals was at 47%. However, Quantumania could prove to be Teflon to reviews, the walk-up factor here is the new MCU villain Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors and first introduced as a variant in Disney+/Marvel Studios’ Loki. RT audience meter is currently at 84%, which is higher than Thor: Love and Thunder (77%) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (80%) and near Ant-Man (85%), despite those latter movies have better reviews at 87% and 83%, respectively.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s Thursday repped 30% of its first day Friday which was $56M before opening to $146.5M.
Ant-Man 3‘s Thursday night figures are from industry sources, not Disney.
We stand corrected: There is another wide release this weekend and it’s Briarcliff’s 100th Liam Neeson movie Marlowe, which opened Wednesday at 2,281 to $550K and fell 62% on Thursday to $210K for a running total of $760K. Neeson plays the famed Raymond Chandler detective Philip Marlowe in a movie that’s directed by Neil Jordan and penned by The Departed‘s Oscar winning screenwriter William Monahan. Set in late-1930s Bay City, Marlowe is hired to find the ex-lover of a glamorous heiress (Diane Kruger), who is the daughter of a well-known movie star (Jessica Lange). The disappearance is the first twist in a series of bewildering events, and soon Marlowe is embroiled in a deadly investigation and web of lies that he’s determined to bring to light. Critics hate the movie at 25% Rotten.
Also taking advantage of the slow midweek before Quantumania is Fathom Events with the British slasher Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey at 1,700 runs. Wednesday was estimated to be $765K, with Thursday at $129K (-14%) for a two-day take of $894K, and that’s off a production cost that’s reportedly less than $100K. Directed and written by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, the pic follows the end of days of merriment as Christopher Robin, now a young man, has left Winnie-The-Pooh and Piglet to fend for themselves. As time passes, feeling angry and abandoned, the two become feral. After getting a taste for blood, Pooh and Piglet set off to find a new source of food. It’s not long before their bloody rampage begins (watch the trailer below). Critics don’t know what to do with themselves on this one, having graded it 9% on RT, but that’s only off 22 reviews. Terrifier 2, another cult horror pic, did $10.6M last fall off a $250K production cost and ultimate 1,5K-plus theater break.
Among regular pics in release, Warner Bros. HBO Max title Magic Mike’s Last Dance ends Week 1 with an estimated $12.5M after a $709K Thursday, -13% from Wednesday at an updated 2,176 locations.
Paramount’s 80 for Brady was second on Thursday with $657K (-17%), a second week of $9.7M, running total of $28.6M at 3,939 theaters.
20th Century Studios/Lightstorm/Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water saw $530K on Thursday, -24%, a ninth week of $10.9M and running total of $650.9M at 3,065. The pic is poised to become the ninth-highest-grossing movie ever at the domestic box office this weekend, surpassing 2015’s Jurassic World ($653.4M).
Universal’s Knock at the Cabin booked at 3,657 had a second week of $8.5M, running total of $26.4M and Thursday of $445K, -13%.
Fifth belonged to Paramount’s 25th anniversary edition of Titanic at 2,464 locations, which did an estimated $394K, -37%, on Thursday for a first week of $10.1M. The lifetime running total is currently $669.4M.