It wouldn’t be a true Fourth of July without some good ol’ fashioned ultra-violent patriotism (‘MURICA!). Plus a Marvel movie, because why not these days.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney)
One of Marvel’s 2015 entries, Ant-Man, was a fine case study on how the internet doesn’t dictate a film’s performance and how general audiences generally don’t give a flying fuck about a movie’s production troubles – despite losing a hyped director in Edgar Wright, causing some skepticism among internet bubbles, the movie grossed $180.2m domestically/$519.31m globally off a $130m budget.
Marvel sequels are among the safer bets out there, with a majority outgrossing their predecessors rather easily – e.g., 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, among the most boring of this genre’s offering, still managed to increase +14% over its forebear. Marvel’s been having a flagship year, really, with February’s Black Pantherclose to $700m stateside and the aforementioned Infinity War at $673.27m as of this writing. Obviously, Ant-Man won’t grasp at those domestic figures barring a huge, unpredictable overperformance, but it’s not expected to either.
Pros for Ant-Man and the Wasp are as follows – the first was well-liked (more so than initially anticipated, again), this one seems just as well-liked, it’s a Marvel movie with some Infinity War nuggets, and it sports the studio’s first female hero in one of its film’s titles (something they haven’t pointed out a ton, but one can imagine they’re saving that for next year’s Captain Marvel). Cons for the movie is that it lacks that somethin’ somethin’ to really make it an event film; right now, it’s pacing ahead of 2016’s Doctor Strange($85.06m debut) in presales versus any of Marvel’s big heavy-hitters. A performance akin to Strange is pretty reasonable, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see it surpass that movie’s opening.
Don’t bet against Marvel and the Mouse, children. But yes, this will be firmly middle-of-the-road as far as MCU grosses go, which isn’t a shabby position to be in period.
Prediction: $90 million, #1 rank
The First Purge (Universal)
Universal and Blumhouse’s Purge series is an impressive little feat, with each of its three movies improving over the other financially, practically unheard of for the horror/thriller genre (trivia: the only other franchise I could find with that honour is New Line’s A Nightmare on Elm Street). That trend will probably end with The First Purge, but when your movie costs just $13m who really cares?
Starting its marketing campaign with some timely provocation featuring one now-iconic red hat, The First Purge’s claim to fame is by pushing the movie’s political themes well to the forefront, which just so happens to be the claim to fame by most of these movies, but if ain’t broke…
The First Purge already opened on Wednesday, collecting $2.5m on Tuesday evening. Its reviews are unsurprisingly mediocre-to-poor, although trailers promise more of the same: violence as a critique for American patriotism and some cool-ass Halloween garb. The movie’s prequel hook is a decent way to justify its existence as well. Tracking previously had The First Purge at $25m over its 5-day opening. After Tuesday’s number, perhaps a figure over $30m is more likely (and its Fourth of July grosses are going to be swell). It’s doubtful First Purge will match 2016’s The Purge: Election Year‘s grosses ($31.52m 3-day debut, $79.21m final gross). It’s also doubtful Universal and co. are fretting.
Prediction: $19 million (3-day, #4 rank), $33 million (5-day)
2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) – $33.5 million (-45%), $337.2m cume 3. Incredibles 2 (Disney) – $27.9 million (-40%), $501.2m cume 5. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sony) – $10.5 million (-45%), $37.8m cume 6. Uncle Drew (Lionsgate) – $9.1 million (-40%), $32.3m cume 7. Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) – $5.4 million (-35%), $126.1m cume 8. Tag (Warner Bros.) – $4.1 million (-30%), $49.8m cume 9. Deadpool 2 (Fox) – $2.3 million (-35%), $315.6m cume 10. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus) – $2.1 million (-15%), $11.8m cume