BO Report: Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ flies high

09 July, 2018 by Don Groves

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’

Released in 2015, Ant-Man wasn’t one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s break-out blockbusters but the sequel scaled greater heights in the US, Australia and other markets last weekend.


Meanwhile Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom smashed the $US1 billion barrier globally, Universal’s seventh film to reach that milestone.

Sense & Centsability launched Mairi Cameron’s debut feature The Second on six screens ahead of its July 20 debut on Stan, playing one session per day. The first film developed and produced by Screen Queensland’s Fully Funded Features with Stan program, the thriller starring Rachael Blake, Susie Porter and Vince Colosimo rang up $17,000 plus $12,000 from festival and advance screenings. “We’re extremely pleased with the results so far, with sold out sessions at many locations,” producer/distributor Leanne Tonkes told IF.

Domestic flop Show Dogs fared no better in its Australian debut while Haifaa Al-Mansour’s romantic drama Mary Shelley struggled.

After screening at the Alliance Française French Film Festival, Cédric Klapisch’s Back to Burgundy opened reasonably well, better than fellow French director Stéphane Robelin’s Mr. Stein Goes Online.

The top 20 titles harvested $20.9 million, up nearly 11 per cent on the prior weekend, helped by school holidays, according to Numero.

Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp drummed up $5.8 million on 613 screens and $6.3 million including previews for Disney, outperforming the original which fetched $5.36 million in its first weekend and finished with $16.9 million.

In the US the superhero adventure starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale and Judy Greer nabbed $75.8 million, 33 per cent higher than the first film.

The international haul was $85 million, which brings the combined global BO earnings for the 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe titles to $17.06 billion. Some pundits are predicting an eventual worldwide total of $600 million for the sequel, a handsome return on its estimated $162 million production budget.

Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 raced to $33.1 million after banking $3.95 million in its fourth weekend, easing by 10 per cent thanks to school holidays. The superhero comedy directed by Brad Bird is the first animated film ever to surpass $500 million in the US, bagging $504 million.

The Jurassic World sequel directed by JA Bayona raked in $3.8 million in its third outing, elevating its total to $26.4 million. The action adventure has amassed a whopping $725.3 million internationally, led by China’s $250.4 million, more than doubling the $333.3 million domestic haul.

Sony Pictures is delighted with the performance of Hotel Transylvania: A Monster Vacation in Australia, its first market. The animated comedy drew $3 million in its second weekend, jumping by 28 per cent, which brings the total to $7.8 million, 76 per cent ahead of Hotel Transylvania 2 at the same stage.

“The studio blockbusters are all performing solidly these school holidays, reinforcing that event films still hold considerable ‘must see’ value among commercial audiences,” Cinema Nova general manager Kristian Connelly told IF.

“The upscale space, by comparison, is lacking any truly compelling new releases with most distributors holding their powder until students have returned to school. We’re looking forward to July 26 when a series of anticipated releases hit screens including NZ comedy The Breaker Upperers, Kevin McDonald’s Whitney, US hit documentary RBG and Jon Hamm thriller Beirut.”

The Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures comedy Ocean’s 8 climbed to $16.3 million after scoring $751,000 in its fifth outing. Gary Ross’ heist caper has minted a tidy $236.9 million worldwide, including $126.7 million domestically and $110 million internationally.

Word-of-mouth clearly isn’t great for Stefano Sollima’s Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which plunged by 47 per cent to $629,000 in its second weekend, collecting  a mediocre $2.27 million thus far for Roadshow.

Conversely Balthasar Kormákur’s Adrift had a buoyant second weekend, pocketing $611,000, off 20 per cent. The tense survival saga starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin has grossed nearly $1.8 million for Roadshow.

Hindi director-writer Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, a biopic on Indian superstar Sanjay Dutt, is a big hit for Mind Blowing Films, making nearly $2 million in 11 days.

Show Dogs, a buddy cop family comedy directed by Raja Gosnell, took a dismal $6 million in its first weekend in the US in May, among the lowest openings of all time for a film which went out on more than 3,000 screens. So the Australian debut of $390,000 on 206 screens was no surprise.

Jeff Tomsic’s comedy Tag is on its last legs after pocketing $202,000 in its fourth frame and $3.1 million thus far for Roadshow

Back to Burgundy, which follows three siblings played by Pio Marmaï, Ana Girardot and François Civil as they take over their father’s vineyard after his death, collected $125,000 on 33 screens and an impressive $437,000 with festival screenings and previews for StudioCanal.

Mr Stein Goes Online stars Pierre Richard as a retired widower who connects on the Internet with the young and gorgeous ‘flora63’ (Fanny Valette). The romantic comedy brought in $10,000 on 12 screens and $90,000 with festival screenings for Rialto.

Scripted by Aussie Emma Jensen, Mary Shelley follows Elle Fanning as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who was 16 when she fell in love with the dashing married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth), a tumultuous affair which inspired her to write the Gothic novel Frankenstein. Transmission Films launched the drama on 27 screens, generating $60,000 and $91,000 with previews.