‘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.


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)