The global box office chart this week was dominated by Ant-Man and the Wasp. And no, this is not a mix-up with a report from seven weeks ago, when the second installment of the Disney and Marvel’s franchise had its domestic and international debut.
What has happened is that the Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly’s superhero sequel finally landed in China, with a strong $68 million. And that alone was good to conquer the global top spot. Ant-Man 2 also ranks as the fourth highest debut in China for a Marvel release and the third highest by a US film for 2018, after Avengers: Infinity War that grossed $200 million and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that was good for $134 million.
South Korea was downgraded to Ant-Man 2’s second highest market with $42.4 million, followed by the UK with $20 million and Mexico and Australia with $15 million each. With Japan still on the way (opening is scheduled for Aug 31), the sequel has reached a global total of $544 million, meaning it has already overtaken the first Ant-Man that finished its run with $519 million.
The second spot in the global chart was taken by the shark action thriller The Meg, that crossed the $400 million mark. Three quarters of that amount comes from international markets, good so far for $303 million. The Jason Statham and Li Bingbing thriller stayed at the top in 17 holdover markets, including Mexico, Brazil and Australia. It opened as No. 1 in nine of its ten new markets, including France that delivered $4.5 million.
While Ant-Man 2 and The Meg dominated the global charts, thanks in large part to Asian markets, Crazy Rich Asians keeps dominating the US box office. In its second outing it added $25 million, a drop of just 6% from the previous weekend. With $69 million so far is now the top grossing domestic comedy of 2018, taking the title away from Game Night.
As Chu and the team behind Crazy Rich Asians plan a sequel, Melissa McCarthy experienced another setback, after The Boss made just $23.5 million back in 2016 and Life of the Party earlier this year was good for just $18 million. McCarthy’s latest comedy, The Happytime Murders, was good for just $10 million, a career low for the actress.
The summer box office so far has been quite good, with audiences worldwide proving, with their wallets, that the theater experience after all is still relevant. Among the holdouts, Mission: Impossible – Fallout got an extra $13 million overseas, for an international total of $345 million. Add North America and the sixth installment of Tom Cruise’s legendary franchise has a worldwide cumulative of $538 million. It’s also tracking 17% ahead of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation at the same stage of release. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is showing resiliency as well, but it looks unlikely it will top the 2008 original – so far its worldwide tally is $345 million, against $610 million. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is now playing in 17 countries and has grossed $40.4 million worldwide so far.
Next week the global box office champion may well be another film whose original release was celebrated seven weeks before: Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, that opened in the US one week after Ant-Man 2 and debuting in China next week with a major push from Alibaba and other major Chinese companies.