Ant-Man and the Wasp
|Ant-Man and the Wasp|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peyton Reed|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$303.9 million|
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Peyton Reed and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari. It stars Rudd as Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Van Dyne, alongside Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip "T.I." Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the titular pair work with Hank Pym to retrieve Janet van Dyne from the quantum realm.
Talks for a sequel to Ant-Man began shortly after that film was released. Ant-Man and the Wasp was officially announced in October 2015, with Rudd and Lilly returning to reprise their roles. A month later, Ant-Man director Reed was officially set to return; he was excited to develop the film from the beginning after joining the first film later in the process, and also to introduce Hope van Dyne as the Wasp in this film, insisting that she and Lang are equals. Filming took place from August to November 2017, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, as well as Metro Atlanta, San Francisco, Savannah, Georgia, and Hawaii.
Ant-Man and the Wasp had its world premiere in Hollywood on June 25, 2018, and was released on July 6, 2018 in the United States in IMAX and 3D. It has grossed over $303 million worldwide, and was generally considered by critics to be fun but disposable, relying on charm, humor, and Rudd's performance in particular to enliven its story and number of subplots.
In 1987, Janet van Dyne / Wasp shrinks between the molecules of a Soviet nuclear missile, disabling it but becoming trapped in the sub-atomic quantum realm. Hank Pym / Ant-Man raises their daughter Hope believing that Janet is dead. Years later, former criminal Scott Lang takes up the mantle of Ant-Man and discovers a way to both enter and return from the quantum realm. Pym and Hope begin work on repeating this feat, believing they may find Janet alive. Lang and Hope also start a romantic relationship and begin training to fight together as Ant-Man and the Wasp, until Lang secretly helps Captain America during a skirmish between the Avengers in violation of the Sokovia Accords. Lang is placed under house arrest, while Pym and Hope go into hiding and cut ties with Lang.[N 1]
Two years later, Pym and Hope briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. Lang receives an apparent message from Janet with whom he is quantumly entangled. Despite having only days left of house arrest, Lang decides to call Pym. Hope kidnaps Lang, leaving a decoy so as not to arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo. Seeing the message as confirmation that Janet is alive, Pym and Hope work to create a stable tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve Janet. Hope arranges to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer Sonny Burch, but Burch has realized the potential profit that can be earned from Pym and Hope's research and double-crosses them. Hope fights Burch and his men off, until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman. Lang tries to help fight off this "ghost", but she escapes with Pym's portable lab.
Pym reluctantly visits his estranged former partner Bill Foster who helps them locate the lab. The ghost restrains Lang, Hope, and Pym when they arrive, and reveals herself to be Ava Starr. Her father Elihas, another former partner of Pym's, accidentally killed himself and his wife during a quantum experiment that caused Ava's unstable state. Foster reveals that he has been helping Ava, who they plan to cure using Janet's quantum energy. Believing that this will kill Janet, Pym refuses to help them and the trio manage to escape.
Opening a stable version of the tunnel this time, Pym and Hope are able to contact Janet, who gives them a precise location to find her, but warns that they only have two hours before the unstable nature of the realm separates them for a century. Burch learns their location from Lang's business partners Luis, Dave, and Kurt, and informs a contact at the FBI. Luis warns Lang, who rushes home before Woo can see him breaking his house arrest. This leaves Pym and Hope to be arrested, and for their lab to be taken by Ava.
Lang is soon able to help Pym and Hope escape custody, and they find the lab. Lang and Hope distract Ava while Pym enters the quantum realm to retrieve Janet, but the pair end up fighting Burch and his men, which allows Ava to begin taking Janet's energy. Luis, Dave, and Kurt help apprehend Burch, so Lang and Hope can stop Ava. Pym and Janet arrive safely from the quantum realm, and Janet voluntarily gifts some of her energy to Ava to temporarily stabilize her.
Lang returns home once again, in time for a now suspicious Woo to release him at the end of his house arrest. Ava and Foster go into hiding. In a mid-credits scene, Pym, Lang, Hope, and Janet plan to harvest quantum energy to continue helping Ava. While Lang is doing this in the quantum realm, Pym, Hope, and Janet all disintegrate.[N 2]
- Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man:
A former petty criminal who acquired a suit that allows him to shrink or grow in scale while also increasing in strength. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, in which Lang escapes from the Raft prison, director Peyton Reed said that "he's a fugitive in most of the first Ant-Man movie. He's just a bigger fugitive now." Rudd was interested in Lang being a regular person rather than "innately heroic or super", and to be driven by his desire to be a responsible parent.
- Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne / Wasp:
The daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, who is handed down a similar suit and the Wasp mantle from her mother. The writers were excited to properly introduce the character as the Wasp, showing her "power set, how she fights, and what are the injustices that matter to her". Lilly felt the character has "incredible satisfaction" in becoming the Wasp, "something that she has been waiting for her whole life, which is essentially an affirmation from her father". Her relationship with Lang is more complicated than in the first film, and includes anger towards his actions during Civil War. Madeleine McGraw portrays a young Hope van Dyne.
- Michael Peña as Luis: Lang's former cellmate and a member of his X-Con Security crew. There was less opportunity for Peña to improvise compared to the first film.
- Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch: A "low-level criminal-type" who seeks to obtain Pym's technology for sale on the black market.
- Bobby Cannavale as Jim Paxton: A police officer and husband to Lang's ex-wife Maggie.
- Judy Greer as Maggie: Lang's ex-wife.
- Tip "T.I." Harris as Dave: A member of Lang's X-Con Security crew.
- David Dastmalchian as Kurt: A member of Lang's X-Con Security crew.
- Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr / Ghost:
A woman with molecular instability, who can phase through objects; she is only considered a "villain" because her attempts at survival clash with the heroes' goals. The character is traditionally portrayed as male in the comics, but the creative team believed that the character's gender was irrelevant to its portrayal, and felt casting a woman would be more interesting. John-Kamen enjoyed this "blank-slate" aspect, allowing her to mold the character as her own. Producer Stephen Broussard said that they wanted to cast a lesser-known actress to help maintain the mystery of the character, and John-Kamen "blew us away". RaeLynn Bratten portrays a young Ava Starr.
- Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie: The daughter of Lang and Maggie.
- Randall Park as Jimmy Woo: An FBI agent and Lang's parole officer.
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne:
The original Wasp who is lost in the quantum realm. She is Pym's wife and Hope's mother. Pfeiffer was Reed's dream casting for the role since his time working on the first film, and he ensured that he received her input on the character. He noted that the character has spent 30 years in the quantum realm, so there is a question regarding how that has affected her. The decision to have the character age over those 30 years even though time works differently in the quantum realm was made to avoid any "sci-fi weirdness" that could take away from the emotional reunions with Pym and Hope in the film. Hayley Lovitt stands in for a young Janet van Dyne, reprising her role from the first film; according to Reed, she had been cast in the first film, before Pfeiffer's involvement, due to her "saucer-like, Michelle Pfeiffer eyes."
- Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster:
An old friend of Pym who was once his assistant on Project Goliath. Fishburne had approached Marvel about joining the MCU, pitching them a few ideas for whom he could portray, before Marvel offered him the role of Foster in the film. Despite having already portrayed Perry White for the DC Extended Universe, Fishburne admitted that he had always fantasized about being in an MCU film, admitting that he considered himself a "Marvel guy". Reed likened the rivalry between Foster and Pym to that of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and wanted an actor who can go "toe-to-toe" with Michael Douglas. Langston Fishburne, Laurence's son, stands in for a young Bill Foster.
- Michael Douglas as Hank Pym:
A former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, entomologist, and physicist who became the original Ant-Man after discovering the subatomic particles that make the transformation possible. Pym has grown a lot closer to his daughter Hope since the first film, and according to producer Kevin Feige he has "that joy of fatherhood" in watching her become a superhero in her own right. Reed was attracted to the "morally dubious" decisions Pym sometimes makes. Dax Griffin stands in for a young Hank Pym, having done so for the first film as well.
Additionally Stan Lee, co-creator of the titular heroes, has a cameo in the film as a man whose car gets shrunk by accident. Michael Cerveris appears as Ava's father Elihas Starr while Riann Steele plays his wife Catherine. Tim Heidecker and Brian Huskey appear in cameos as a whale boat captain named Daniel Gooobler and a teacher at Cassie's school, respectively. Sonny Burch's team of men includes Divian Ladwa as Uzman, Goran Kostić as Anitolov, and Rob Archer as Knox, while Sean Kleier portrays Stoltz, Burch's FBI inside man and Jimmy Woo's subordinate. Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster of The Best Show make brief appearances as Burch's SUV drivers.
In June 2015, Ant-Man director Peyton Reed expressed interest in returning for a sequel or prequel to that film, saying that he had "really fallen in love with these characters" and felt "there's a lot of story to tell with Hank Pym". A month later, Pym actor Michael Douglas said he was not signed for any additional films, but "would look forward to more if it comes my way", and expressed the desire to have his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as Janet van Dyne for a potential follow-up. Evangeline Lilly—who played the daughter of Pym and Van Dyne, Hope van Dyne—wanted to see Michelle Pfeiffer in the role. Producer Kevin Feige revealed that the studio had a "supercool idea" for the next Ant-Man film, and "if audiences want it, we'll find a place to do it." Reed also mentioned that there had been talks of making a standalone adventure with Hank Pym as Ant-Man, possibly including the original opening to Ant-Man featuring Jordi Mollà which was cut from the final film. Eric Eisenberg of Cinema Blend opined that a standalone adventure with Pym and the cut sequence would be a good candidate to revive the Marvel One-Shots short film series. By the end of July, David Dastmalchian expressed interest in returning for a sequel as Kurt.
In October 2015, Marvel Studios confirmed the sequel, titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, with a scheduled release date of July 6, 2018. Reed was in negotiations to direct the sequel by the end of the month, and announced his return in November, along with the confirmation of Paul Rudd and Lilly returning as Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp, respectively. One of the things that appealed to Reed about returning was being able to build the film "from the ground up", as he joined the first film late in the process, after the original writer and director Edgar Wright had departed. He also wanted to explore elements that he had set up in the first film. Reed first began work on an outline for the sequel, which he thought could be "weird, unique and different" now that the characters' origins had been established. On including the Wasp in the film's title (the first MCU film to have a female character in the title), Reed called it "organic" for both characters, and noted the Wasp's final line in Ant-Man—'It's about damn time'—as "very much about her specific character and arc in that movie, but it is absolutely about a larger thing. It's about damn time: We’re going to have a fully realized, very very complicated hero in the next movie who happens to be a woman." Reed would also push to ensure the Wasp received equal publicity and merchandise for the film, and even though Janet van Dyne had yet to be cast, he had a desire to explore her backstory in the film and "definite ideas" of who should portray her. That month, Adam McKay, one of the writers of Ant-Man, expressed interest in returning to write the film, and Douglas confirmed that he was in talks to return as well.
Reed stated in early December that the film may "call back" to the heist film genre and tone of Ant-Man, but that Ant-Man and the Wasp would "have an entirely different genre template". He hoped to incorporate additional flashback sequences in the film, as well as explore Pym's various identities from the comics and his psychology. Reed also said he was "excited" about exploring and discovering the film version of the Ant-Man and Wasp relationship that is "a romantic partnership and a heroic partnership" in the comics, a "different dynamic than we've seen in the rest of the [MCU], an actual partnership." Additionally, Reed mentioned that pre-production would "probably" start in October 2016, with filming scheduled for early 2017. Production writers for the first film, Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer, signed on to write the script along with Rudd, with writing starting "in earnest" in January 2016. The next month, McKay stated that he would be involved with the film in some capacity. By April, the four writers and Reed had been "holed up in a room ... brainstorming the story", with Reed promising that it would have "stuff in it that you've never ever seen in a movie before". Feige added that they wanted to "stay true to what made [Ant-Man] so unique and different", and teased the potential of seeing the Giant-Man version of Lang that had been introduced in Captain America: Civil War.
In June 2016, Reed said that for inspiration from the comics he had been looking at "early Avengers stuff and all the way up to the Nick Spencer stuff now", and was focusing on iconic images that could be replicated in the film over story beats from the comics. He added that there was "definitely a chance" for Michael Peña, Tip "T.I." Harris, and Dastmalchian to reprise their respective roles as Luis, Dave, and Kurt from the first film. At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Feige stated that Reed and Rudd were still working on the script, and that filming was now expected to begin in June 2017. Rudd elaborated that they had "turned in a treatment, but it's so preliminary. We'll see. We have an idea of what it might look like, but it could change a lot from where we're at now." The next month, Peña was confirmed to be returning as Luis, while filming was revealed to be taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. In early October, an initial script had been completed for the film that was awaiting approval from Marvel.
At the start of November 2016, Reed said that the film's production would transition from "the writing phase" to "official prep" that month, beginning with visual development. Reed reiterated his excitement for introducing the Wasp and "really designing her look, the way she moves, the power set, and figuring out, sort of, who Hope van Dyne is as a hero". He also talked about sharing characters with other MCU films, stating his disappointment in the Giant-Man introduction happening in Civil War, rather than an Ant-Man film. Reed added that he spends "a lot of time" talking with the other writers and directors of MCU films, and that he and the writers on this film wished to maintain "our little Ant-Man corner of the universe. Because it's a whole different vibe tonally".
In February 2017, Douglas confirmed that he would reprise his role as Hank Pym in the film. During the Hollywood premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in April, Dastmalchian confirmed his return as Kurt, and a month later, Harris confirmed his return as Dave as well. Through that May, Marvel was meeting with several actresses for a "key role" in the sequel, with Hannah John-Kamen cast in the part at the beginning of June. The following month, Randall Park joined the cast as Jimmy Woo, and Walton Goggins was cast in an undisclosed role. At San Diego Comic-Con 2017, Park's casting was confirmed; John-Kamen and Goggins' roles were revealed to be Ghost and Sonny Burch, respectively; and the casting of Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne and Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster was announced. Judy Greer was confirmed to be reprising her role as Maggie from the previous film the following week.
Reed was inspired by the films After Hours, Midnight Run and What's Up, Doc? for the look and feel of Ant-Man and the Wasp. While the first film was more of a heist film, Reed described this as part action film, part romantic comedy, and wanted this one "to be a little more of like an Elmore Leonard vibe where we have villains, but we also have antagonists, and we have these roadblocks to our heroes getting to where they need to be, and getting what they need for this mission." Regarding the opportunity for character development, Reed used the actions of Lang in Civil War to fuel potential tension between him, Pym, and Van Dyne since Pym is "very clear in the first movie about how he feels about Stark and how he feels about The Avengers and being very protective of this technology that he has."
The Russo brothers, directors of Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel, which were filming while Ant-Man and the Wasp was preparing to film, were in constant discussion with Reed in order to ensure story elements would line up between the films. Joe Russo added that Ant-Man and the Wasp would have "some [plot] elements that stitch in" closely with Avengers: Infinity War, more so than some of the other films leading up to the Avengers films. Reed knew Ant-Man and the Wasp would be "a fairly stand-alone movie but... could not ignore the events of Infinity War", with the biggest connection occurring in the film's mid-credit scene. Since the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp occur over 48 hours, the timeline in relation to Infinity War was "left purposefully ambiguous" with Reed noting there had been discussions of placing "little Easter eggs along the way, to start to reveal to the audience where the movie takes place in the timeline, [but t]hat felt not very fun to us and kind of obvious." Reed also like the fact the film ends with closure and on a positive note "and then to BANG — give the audience a gut punch right after the main credits", with the sequence showing Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, and Hope van Dyne fading away due to the events of Avengers: Infinity War. The film also has a post-credit scene that shows the ant who doubled for Lang while under house arrest performing a drum solo.
Principal photography began on August 1, 2017, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, under the working title Cherry Blue; Dante Spinotti served as director of photography, shooting on Arri Alexa 65 cameras, with some sequences being shot with a Frazier lens. At the start of filming, Marvel revealed that Bobby Cannavale and Abby Ryder Fortson would also reprise their roles from the first film, respectively as Paxton and Cassie. They also announced that the writing team of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers had contributed to the screenplay.
Filming also took place in Metro Atlanta, with filming locations including the Atlanta International School, the Midtown and Buckhead districts of Atlanta, and the Samuel M. Inman Middle School in the city's Virginia-Highland neighborhood; as well as Emory University and the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Additional filming took place in San Francisco in September 2017, in Savannah, Georgia in late October, and in Hawaii. Production wrapped on November 19, 2017.
In late November, Lilly said that the characters would try to enter the Quantum Realm in the film, and their potential success would "open a whole entire new multi-verse to enter into and play around in" for the MCU.
Visual effects for the film were created by DNEG, Scanline VFX, Method Studios, Luma Pictures, Lola VFX, Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite, Rise FX, Rodeo FX, Crafty Apes, Perception NYC, Digital Domain, and The Third Floor.
DNEG worked on over 500 shots including the effects for Ghost, which were shared with the other vendors, the third act chase sequence, and the final Ghost fight as Hank and Janet are coming back from the Quantum Realm. While DNEG had worked on the "macro-photography" sequences in Ant-Man, they did not take the same approach on this film for similar sequences. One issue DNEG faced was getting a camera to seem small enough to capture the small actions. Though some of the film was shot with a Frazier lens that provides extra depth of field, DNEG would still need to "re-project the road higher and "raise the floor level" to simulate a tiny sized camera". As the third act chase sequence was mainly shot in Atlanta, while being set in San Francisco, DNEG VFX Supervisor Alessandro Ongaro noted "extensive environment work" with background elements in some of shots not being able to be salvaged at all.
Lola once again worked on the de-aging sequences with Douglas, Pfeiffer, and Fishburne. The flashback sequences featuring a younger Hank Pym were set around the same time as the flashback sequences of Ant-Man, so Lola were able to use a similar process, referencing Douglas' appearance in Wall Street (1987) and having the actor on set in a different wardrobe and wig. Lola VFX Supervisor Trent Claus felt Pfeiffer's was less complicated, since "she has aged incredibly well" and still has big hair and a big smile. Pfeiffer's work from Ladyhawke (1985) and other films around that time was referenced. For Fishburne, his son served as his younger double, and helped inform Lola how the older Fishburne's skin would have looked in certain lighting situations. The films Lola looked to for Fishburne's younger self included Boyz n the Hood (1991) and Deep Cover (1992). Lola also made Fishburne thinner, and all actors had their posture adjusted.
Luma worked on the scenes where Ant-Man and the Wasp infiltrate Ghost’s hideout, where they had to recreate the entire environment with CGI. They also created the first quantum tunnel sequence where Ghost receives her powers, and the flashback missile launch, which had to be replicated exactly from how it appeared in Ant-Man so it would look and feel similar. The new version of the Quantum Realm, designed by Reed and production VFX supervisor Stephane Ceretti, was designed by Method. On their design, Method Studios VFX Supervisor Andrew Hellen, explained, “We did a lot of research into macro and cellular level photography, and played with different ways to visualize quantum mechanics. It has a very magical quality, with a scientific edge. We also used glitching effects and macro lensing to ground the footage, and keep it from feeling too terrestrial.” Method also worked on the sequence when Lang is the size of a preschooler at the school, and created the digital doubles for Ant-Man and Wasp. For the digital doubles, Method generally kept the same level of detail on the suits, regardless of what scale they were.
In June 2017, Reed confirmed that Christophe Beck, who composed the score for Ant-Man, would return for Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hollywood Records and Marvel Music released the soundtrack album digitally on July 6, 2018.
Ant-Man and the Wasp had its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on June 25, 2018, and was released in the United States on July 6, 2018, where it opened in 4,206 theaters, of which 3,000 were in 3D, 403 were in IMAX, over 660 were in premium large format, and over 220 were in D-Box and 4D.
The film was scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on June 29, 2018, but was rescheduled in November 2017 to August 3, 2018, in order to avoid competition with the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Charles Gant of The Guardian and Screen International noted, "The worry for film distributors is that audiences will be caught up in the tournament. So it's easier to play safe and not date your film at this time, especially during the group stage, when all the qualifying nations are competing." Tom Butler of Yahoo! Movies UK added that, unlike the first film, which was one of the lowest-grossing MCU films in the UK, anticipation levels for the film "are at an all-time high following the events of Infinity War" and "UK audiences will probably have found out what happens in the film well before it opens in UK cinemas, and this could have a negative impact on its box office potential." Butler and Huw Fullerton of Radio Times both opined the delay could also be in part because of Disney also delaying the United Kingdom release of Incredibles 2 to July 13, 2018 (a month after its United States release), and not wanting to compete with itself with the two films. This in turn led fans in the country to start a Change.org petition to have Disney move the release date up several weeks, similarly to how Avengers: Infinity War's United States release was moved up a week the previous May.
Concept art and "pre-CGI video" was shown at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. In January 2018, Hyundai Motor America announced that the 2019 Hyundai Veloster would play a significant role in the film, with other Hyundai vehicles scheduled to make an appearance. The first trailer for the film was released on January 30, 2018 on Good Morning America, and used the guitar riff from Adam and the Ants' "Ants Invasion". David Betancourt of The Washington Post called the release, the day after Black Panther's premiere was widely praised on social media, a "smart move"; with Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War also releasing in 2018, "it can be easy [to] forget that hey, there is an Ant-Man sequel coming this year... So Marvel Studios giving us a quick reminder with this trailer release is logical". Tracy Brown, writing for the Los Angeles Times, praised how the trailer prominently featured Lilly's Van Dyne "[showing] off how she was always meant to be a superhero". A second trailer was released on May 1, 2018. Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter felt the trailer made the film feel "very much like an intentional antidote for, or at least alternative to, the grimness of Infinity War's downbeat ending", calling it "a smart move" since it could be considered "a palate cleanser and proof that Marvel has more to offer... before audiences dive back into the core narrative with next year's Captain Marvel." In June 2018, Feige presented several scenes from the film at CineEurope. Promotional partners for the film included Dell, Synchrony Financial, and Sprint. In total, Disney spent about $154 million worldwide on promoting the film.
As of July 20, 2018[update], Ant-Man and the Wasp has grossed $153 million in the United States and Canada, and $150.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $303.9 million. Following its global debut of $161 million, Deadline Hollywood estimated the film would turn a net profit of around $100 million.
Ant-Man and the Wasp earned $33.8 million on its opening day in the United States and Canada (including $11.5 million from Thursday night previews), for an opening weekend total of $75.8 million; this was a 33% improvement over the first film's debut of $57.2 million. Its opening included $6 million from IMAX screens. In its second weekend, the film earned $28.8 million, coming in second, behind Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. BoxOffice Magazine projected a final domestic gross of $225 million.
Outside the United States and Canada, the film earned $85 million from 41 markets, where it opened number one in all except New Zealand. Its South Korea opening was $20.9 million (which included previews). The $15.5 million opening from the market without previews was the second-best opening of 2018 behind Avengers: Infinity War. In its second weekend, playing in 44 markets, it remained number one in Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore. As of June 2018[update], the film's largest markets were South Korea ($34.5 million), Mexico ($11.5 million), and Australia ($9.7 million).
The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 87% based on 258 reviews, and an average rating of 6.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a normalized score of 70 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, down from the "A" earned by the first film.
Peter Travers, writing for Rolling Stone, gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and praised Rudd and Lilly, saying, "The secret of Ant-Man and the Wasp is that it works best when it doesn't try so hard, when it lets charm trump excess and proves that less can be more even in the Marvel universe." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the lightweight tone as a treat and a breath following the "dramatically heavy conclusion" of Avengers: Infinity War. He also praised the cast, especially Rudd and Fortson, as well as the visual effects and inventive use of shrinking and growing in the action scenes. Manohla Dargis at The New York Times felt the film's "fast, bright and breezy" tone was a vast improvement over the first film, praising Reed's direction. She also praised Rudd, felt Lilly found "her groove" in the film, and wrote that the supporting cast all had "scene-steal[ing]" sequences. Simon Abrams of RogerEbert.com said the film was "good enough", a "messy, but satisfying" sequel that he felt managed to juggle its many subplots while giving Rudd's Lang some decent character development.
Variety's Owen Gleiberman called the film "faster, funnier, and more cunningly confident than the original," and felt Reed was able to give the film enough personality to overcome its two-hour runtime and effects-heavy climax. He did caution that this was "not quite the same thing as humanity. But it's enough to qualify as the miniature version." At The Washington Post, Ann Hornaday called the film "instantly forgettable" and criticized its plot, which she felt included some "filler" subplots, but found the film to be "no less enjoyable" because of this. She particularly praised Rudd along with the action and effects. Writing for the Boston Globe, Ty Burr called the film the perfect "summer air-conditioning movie", finding it fun, funny, superficial and an improvement over the first. He also wrote that the film had too many subplots and not enough of Pfeiffer, but was pleased with the lack of connection that the overall story had to the rest of the MCU, and with the focus on "pop trash" comedy. Stephanie Zachareck, writing for Time, said it was "hard to actively dislike" the film, which she thought had reasonably fun action and stand-out moments between Rudd and Fortson; but she was not as impressed with the larger, effects-heavy action sequences and felt the focus on Lilly as a better hero than Rudd was "just checking off boxes in the name of gender equality."
Ahead of the film's release, Reed noted that he and Marvel were "hopeful" about a third film, having discussed potential story points. Michael Douglas also expressed interest in playing a younger version of his character Hank Pym in a prequel, something which Reed already teased back in 2015.
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