Ant-Man: Quantumania Is Disappointing At The Box Office

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania has a set record for the largest second-weekend box office drop in MCU history.

By Mark McKee | Updated

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It’s hard to overestimate the impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe had on the industry over the last decade, starting with Robert Downey Jr.’s first appearance as Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man and going all the way to last weekend’s third outing of Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. While a handful of movies in the Marvel slate rake in over $1 billion, it seems, in the first ten minutes, others limp along and struggle to gain traction. Unfortunately, according to Deadline, the Ant-Man threequel installment has the worst drop-off of any MCU movie. 

When Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania debuted, there was a fair amount of bad news as the critics didn’t seem to care for it, giving it a dismal 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, MCU fans wouldn’t take that lying down, and the film had a great opening weekend, with the fans showing out for their tiniest hero, scoring an 84 percent audience rating. But now, according to the Deadline report, the third film in the Ant-Man trilogy has seen a drop of up to 72 percent from last weekend’s box office total, beating out the former worst drop in MCU history, Ang Lee’s Hulk at 69.7%. 

But what could cause that big of a drop-off? The most obvious answer is that Marvel fans front-loaded the box office by seeing it opening weekend; the problem with that for the studio is that they get massive openings with no legs. With other massive movies like Avengers: End Game or Spider-Man: No Way Home, the movies were beloved enough that the fans that saw it on opening weekend to support the franchise and avoid spoilers didn’t feel the need for a rewatch. 

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Jonathan Majors as Kang in Quantunmania

This isn’t a new sensation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is just another example of the franchise driving away fans and maybe even a little superhero fatigue. The other films with the most significant drop between the weekends are all a part of Phase 4, with Black Widow at 67.8%, Thor: Love & Thunder at 67.6%, Spider-Man: No way Home at 67.5%, Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness at an even 67%, and Eternals at 62.3%. Two of these to keep in mind are Black Widow, which was marred by a controversial decision to release on Disney+ at the same time, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, which saw its second weekend hit the Christmas holiday and then bounce right back to become one of the highest grossing movies ever. 

For Paul Rudd‘s latest outing as Scott Lang, it is a relative slap in the face that the two films causing the massive drop in the box office are a faith-based film (which rarely does well in theaters) and a story of a coked-out bear on a rampage. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may have been the arrival of Kang (Johnathan Majors) and a jumpstart to Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it feels like a short-lived jumpstart. It barely lasted seven days.