Disney/Marvel’s launch into Phase 5 could not have been duller and more disastrous, as second- week numbers came limping in for the high-budget, low-energy blockbuster Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantomania.
After earning a respectable $120 million in its extended opening weekend, the third installment if the franchise and first for the next round of Marvel films absolutely cratered, losing over 70% of ticket sales heading into the next weekend. For comparison, Thor: Love and Thunder and The Eternals took hits of 68% and 62%, respectively, and those movies didn’t even have the likable Paul Rudd.
While the overhaul domestic haul is expected to range around $170, that’s against the backdrop of a movie budget around $200 and hundreds of millions more for promotions. The studio would need to gross more than $500 million just to break even on the CGI-heavy flick.
Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were mixed. While some people rated the film favorably – there will always been a low-IQ audience that slurps of corporatized, sanitized, and lazy action movies – many more comments were critical, particularly among critics themselves. These toadies of the industry rarely speak ill of their benefactors.
“The more appealing thing about the whole enterprise is the mental image of these former A-listers hanging out between takes, swapping stories of the old days and competing over who least understands the script,” one critic wrote.
“I can’t remember ever wanting to walk out during a press screening of any post-2008 Marvel movie, but I had the urge this time around and wouldn’t have missed much had I followed that impulse,” another said.
“The ensuing plot is mostly gibberish, full of universe-threatening stakes that are too easily overcome,” yet another chimed in.
“The thrill is gone. The Marvel Universe shoots a blank. A tiny one,” lamented another comment.
Breitbart News likewise summed up the dreary theater results.
Last weekend, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opened exactly where the child abusers at Disney had hoped, with a four-day $120 million. That was likely due to the front-loading of Marvel dead-enders and actor Paul Rudd, who remains an appealing screen presence. The problem now is lousy reviews (the second worst in Marvel history) and a deadly B Cinemascore. Ant-Man 3 is not a movie people are recommending to others or going to see again. That repeat business from the Nerd/Internet-Porn/Marijuana crowd is crucial to Marvel’s success.
The worse news for Marvel is that they had pinned their hopes on this concluding story from Ant-Man. While the character was never a blockbuster name like staples such as Iron-Man or Spiderman, Paul Rudd brought his on-screen charm and charisma and made the first tow films, neither particularly memorable, at least palatable for consumers.
Now even that magic is gone, and the rest of the 2023 lineup for Marvel includes the The Marvels, an all-female woke disaster in the making, as well as Captain America: New World Order, another woke dumpster fire featuring the new black Cap.
To be sure, no one cares that superheroes are female or black. But smart audiences care that a story is put ahead of identity politics, and in the case of these films, the only reason they’re getting made is because they tell the right narratives and not because they have anything interesting to say about the comic book legends themselves.
At this point, just like Star Wars before it, Disney has ruined Marvel to the point of no one even caring what happens. The sooner they hit rock bottom the better. Maybe then good movies could be produced again.
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