Every time there’s a new Marvel film, a small part of me wonders if audience fatigue will eventually make a dent in the mega-franchise, the biggest movie series of all time. Surely, it has to happen at some point, right? With the newest instalment, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, reviews were tepid and the inherent B-Movie nature of the lead character made me think it was more possible than ever. Again, I was proven wrong, because Quantumania did $104 million in its opening weekend.
Sure, those reviews were bad, especially for a franchise that has received generally strong write-ups over the past 15 years. Sure, nobody’s favorite MCU character is the Wasp or whoever these bugs are. But this is still Marvel, and doubting them these days seems futile. Even Thor: Love and Thunder, which felt like a bump in the road given how much its critical glow dimmed from the previous film, made more money than Ragnarok. Here, Quantumania brought in more money in its domestic opening weekend than its two predecessors ($57,225,526 for the first one, and $75,812,205 for the second.) So, Phase Five is on solid ground for now, at least financially speaking. Creatively and narratively… well, let’s see how that unfolds. Long-term grosses for this might not be so peachy, especially with that B ranking from CinemaScore.
Only one other film received a wide release this past weekend, and, of course, it got buried at the box office. Marlowe, the crime thriller directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson, barely cracked the top ten with $1.9 million from 2,281 theaters. Reviews were dire, promotion was bare-bones, and it’s been diminishing returns for Neeson’s films at the cinema for years now.
The schlocky horror cash-in, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, seems to exist primarily because the public domain now allows it to. That didn’t exactly thrill potential audiences, and neither did the week reviews. It debuted at number 12 with only $679,291 from 445 cinemas. Sadly, we’re getting way more of this kind of cack in the future. The queer romantic drama Of an Age debuted right behind it with $411,000 from 289 locations.
Riding high on the Michelle Yeoh hype train, Sony Pictures Classics re-released Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 475 theaters, bringing in a nice $171,586. Coincidentally, that puts it right next to Everything Everywhere All at Once, which is in its 48th week of release!
In limited release news, the historical drama Emily earned $40,143 from five theaters, and the Korean drama Return to Seoul made $30,785 in two cinemas.
This coming week sees the release of our newest lord and saviour, Cocaine Bear.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.