The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the most financially successful film franchise in the world. Even with a whopping 30 films under their belt, all of those are also positively reviewed most of the time. After the completion of ‘The Infinity Saga’ with “Avengers Endgame,”; MCU entered into ‘The Multiverse Saga,’ kick-starting Phase 4, which began with “Black Widow.” Phase 4 was the first time MCU saw some hiccups, both critically and also financially.
Marvel Studios is such a strong brand at this point that even their solo films, no matter what the reviews are, easily break into the billion-dollar club again and again. But except “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Co-produced with Sony Pictures), there has not been a single MCU film in phase 4 that earned billion dollars at the box office. Even if we set aside the financial aspect of the films for a second, the phase 4 films are also critically mixed. Films like “Black Widow,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” got mixed reviews, and Marvel’s ambitious project “Eternals” got very negative reviews. A few of their “Disney Plus” series, like “She-Hulk,” also got a lot of heat from the audience. This kind of reception is unheard of for this mammoth movie franchise. Phase 4 was finally concluded on November 20, 2022, with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Phase 5 is set to begin on February 17, 2023, with “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The film has already been screened by the media, critics, and journalists. And their reviews have now come out. Is the film able to bring back the glory of the MCU? Or is it still continuing on the shaky path laid out by Phase 4? Let’s find out.
As of writing this article, 166 reviews have been registered, and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” now has a rotten score, sitting at just 51% on “Rotten Tomatoes.” This is not only the lowest score within the Ant-Man franchise but also the 2nd worst score for any Marvel Cinematic Universe film, only ahead of Chloe Zhao’s “Eternals,” which had a shockingly low 47% score. This is an initial score for Ant-Man 3. The final score could slip even further as more and more critic reviews keep getting added. Quantumania holds not only the lowest Metacritic score within the Ant-Man franchise but also the lowest in the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe.
|Ant-Man films||Rotten Tomatoes score||Metacritic score|
|Ant-Man and the Wasp||87%||70|
|Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania||51%||50|
Mick LaSalle from ‘San Francisco Chronicle’ says that this film is a bad drama, bad science fiction, and a waste of everyone and everything in it. David Fear from “Rolling Stone” goes one step further and says that even “Eternals” feels positively breezy by comparison. The other prominent reviewers say it feels more like a Star Wars film than a Marvel one. Many critics also pointed out that the film was trying to establish the upcoming films more than focusing on its own storyline. Kate Erbland from “Indiewire” summed it up perfectly by saying that the Marvel films should get small again, which might be the only way to save the MCU that seems dangerously close to getting way too big to do anything but fail.
Box office projection
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is projected to open around $95 million in North America. That’s a significant jump from the previous two films in this franchise. 2015’s “Ant-Man” had a $57 million domestic opening weekend, and the sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp” opened with $76 million. Although the numbers are still significantly lower than last year’s three MCU movies, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” opened at $185 million, “Thor: Love and Thunder” opened at $144 million, and lastly, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” had a $181 million opening. Now the 3rd entry of the Ant-Man franchise is going to have a China release, which will give a boost to its global box office total.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is going to be the first Marvel film to get a Chinese release since “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in the summer of 2019. Advanced ticket booking in India is also looking great. As of Thursday, 11 a.m. IST, 41000 tickets were pre-booked at PVR chains, 22800 at INOX, and 13800 at Cinepolis. The worldwide box office for the opening weekend is projected to be $255 million. How much the negative reviews will affect the box office is yet to be seen. But it is very obvious that with many shows on a given day because of its short runtime (2 hours 4 minutes), “Ant-Man and the Quantumania” is surely going to be the No. 1 film of this weekend at the domestic market, and also going to post franchise-best numbers.
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