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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ buzzes to $76 million debut

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ buzzes to $76m debut

Despite its heroes’ diminutive size, ‘‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’’ opened with Marvel might at the box office, with an estimated $76 million in ticket sales.

According to studio estimates Sunday, the ‘‘Ant-Man’’ sequel easily surpassed the $57 million debut of the 2015 original in North America. The 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and the 20th to debut No. 1 — ‘‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’’ comes on the heels of two mammoth Marvel successes this year: ‘‘Black Panther’’ and ‘‘Avengers: Infinity War.’’

While the first ‘‘Ant-Man,’’ starring Paul Rudd, had a rocky road to release due to a director change, the rollout of the sequel, directed by Peyton Reed, was smoother. Cathleen Taff, head of distribution for Disney, credited a marketing campaign that played up the film as a more modest, funny, and lighthearted change-of-pace for Marvel following the grandiosity of ‘‘Infinity War.’’ ‘‘It came in at the high end of our range and definitely sized-up the sequel,’’ said Taff.

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Befitting the summer season, the weekend’s top five films were all sequels. The weekend’s other new wide release was Blumhouse Productions’ ‘‘The First Purge,’’ the fourth film in the low-budget horror franchise about an annual 12-hour period of lawlessness. With July Fourth falling on a Wednesday, depriving Hollywood of a holiday weekend, Universal opted to release ‘‘The First Purge’’ on Wednesday, while ‘‘Ant-Man’’ waited for the customary Thursday night previews.

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Disney’s ‘‘Incredibles 2’’ passed ‘‘Finding Dory’’ to become Pixar’s top-grossing film domestically, not accounting for inflation. It earned $29 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to $504 million and its worldwide haul to $773 million.

With $28.6 million in its third weekend, Universal’s ‘‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’’ crossed $1 billion worldwide. It’s done especially well internationally, which has made up 69 percent of the dinosaur sequel’s global footprint.

Coming in at No. 5 was “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” which took in $7.3 million domestically, outscoring the Kyrie Irving vehicle “Uncle Drew,” which totaled $6.6 million. (AP)