Marvel Studios has had a great year, critically and financially, at the box office. Black Panther was a cultural phenomenon, and became the third-highest-grossing movie in North America; Avengers: Infinity War smashed opening-day records and has earned over $2 billion worldwide.
The studio is looking to continue that success with the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, and though audiences may not be clamoring to see it like the other titles, the film shows that Marvel has a winning formula when it comes to making great superhero movies.
Like Ant-Man, the first movie in the series, Ant-Man and the Wasp is one of the smaller Marvel Studio films. Ant-Man only made $180 million at the North American box office when it was released in 2015, and the sequel is projected to open with $80 million this weekend. Its budget was slightly north of $130 million, making it one of the lowest debuts in this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for Disney, that’s OK.
Although it has a smaller budget than larger Marvel movies, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Ant-Man and the Wasp is a funny, action-packed film that offers a reprieve from the emotional ride that was Infinity War. The stakes aren’t as high in this movie as they were in Infinity War and the cast isn’t nearly as robust, but Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas do a great job.
Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t afraid to make fun of itself, which has been the case with the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that is why they have been such big hits with audiences, as opposed to the overt seriousness of the latest slate of DC Universe flicks such as Justice League that’s left a bad taste in the mouth of fans.
“Marvel concentrates on creating a story so, even if you are not familiar with their characters, you can still enjoy the film,” Ronda Racha Penrice, cultural critic and member of The African-American Film Critics Association told EBONY.
Director Peyton Reed does a good job balancing the comedic timing of Rudd, who plays Ant-Man, and the stoic nature of Lilly’s the Wasp, as well as having entertaining action scenes that audiences have come to expect from Marvel.
Disney won’t see the same box office receipts with Ant-Man and the Wasp as it did with Black Panther, but for a company that is spending $71 billion to acquire 21st Century Fox, a financial misstep won’t upend it, and this movie most likely won’t be (2015’s Ant-Man made $340 million). As long as it adds to the main story that connects all the Marvel Cinematic Universe properties, it will be a success
Ant-Man and the Wasp does enough for it to be fresh and entertaining, which will keep audiences engaged.
Check out the trailer below. Ant-Man and the Wasp comes out in theaters Friday, July 6.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.