'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Ready to Add to Disney's Super-Sized 2018
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $33.8 million on Friday, Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp is off to a strong start, pushing toward a three-day opening north of $80 million.

Universal and Blumhouse's The First Purge brought in an estimated $6.06 million on Friday for a three-day total just shy of $20 million after debuting on Wednesday. The film is currently expected to top $18 million for the weekend three-day for a five-day cume topping $32 million.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Ant-Man and the Wasp is already off to a great start, delivering $11.5 million from Thursday night previews, which began at 6PM. The preview grosses dramatically outperform the original film's $6.4 million in previews as well as the $9.4 million Doctor Strange brought in from preview grosses before opening with $85 million. In fact, it's also more than the $7.1 million in previews for Thor: The Dark World, which opened with $85.7 million in 2011 and just head of the $11.2 million in previews for Guardians of the Galaxy, which opened with $94.3 million in August of 2014.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: In the midst of what is currently on pace to be a record-breaking year at the box office, Disney, the studio leading the charge, offers up Ant-Man and the Wasp, the 20th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and expectations are climbing. At the same time, Universal debuted The First Purge, the fourth installment in the popular Purge franchise on Wednesday, looking to continue a string of successful releases in that franchise. The same weekend last year saw the top twelve deliver just over $200 million and, based on our expectations, we're looking at a weekend at or just below that number as 2018 continues its strong performance.

Currently at the top of the box office world is Disney, accounting for over 36% of the overall domestic box office in 2018 on the back of just five films. Two of those five films are the latest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War — and they alone account for $1.37 billion of the year's overall domestic box office and this weekend's release of Ant-Man and the Wasp looks to add big numbers to that total. Debuting in 4,206 theaters, the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man is expected to make major gains over its opening weekend compared to the original, due in large part to the heat coming off Infinity War. While the 2015 release opened with just $57.2 million — the second smallest opening in the MCU — no one is expecting a debut that small this weekend.

Disney cites tracking heading into the weekend estimating a three-day opening anywhere from $70-85 million, which would put it on par with films such as Doctor Strange ($85m opening) and Thor: The Dark World ($85.7m opening), but several signals are pointing to the potential for a much higher debut.

Online ticket retailer Fandango.com reports Ant-Man and the Wasp is outpacing both Doctor Strange and Thor: The Dark World in advanced tickets sales leading up to release and a peek at IMDb page view data over the two weeks leading up to release shows a similar trend. In fact, Ant-Man and the Wasp is performing very similarly to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which opened with $117 million over the same weekend last year. Overall, we're expecting a debut anywhere from $83-105 million, leaning toward an opening around $88+ million, which would signal a ~55% jump from Ant-Man's 2015 debut, similar to the leap Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's opening took from its first film.

Internationally, the Ant-Man sequel opened yesterday in South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. It adds markets such as Mexico, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia to that list today and will open in Vietnam, Venezuela and Ecuador tomorrow. All told, it's looking to be released in ~48% of the international marketplace by the end of the weekend with the likes of France (7/18), Germany (7/26), UK (8/3), Italy (8/14) and Japan (8/31) debuting over the coming months.

Universal and Amblin's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is looking at a second place finish, delivering around $29 million for a domestic total topping $335 million. Right behind it should be Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2, which is looking at a third weekend drop around 45% or so, pulling in around $25.5 million for a domestic cume topping $500 million, becoming the first animated film to ever reach that mark.

In fourth look for Universal and Blumhouse's The First Purge to deliver yet another solid opening, this time debuting over a five-day holiday weekend. The film has already brought in $9.3 million after its Wednesday debut, which included $2.5 million from preview showings on Tuesday night. Following the film's opening day, industry expectations are for a five-day performance around $32-35 million, but we can't help but expect just a little more. Last year The Purge: Election Year debuted with $36.1 million over the four-day holiday weekend and IMDb page view data shows this fourth installment outperforming its predecessor over the two weeks leading up to release. It's also outperforming 2014's The Purge: Anarchy, which opened with $29.8 million over a standard three-day weekend.

The First Purge is opening in a franchise high 3,031 locations and a five day performance anywhere from $36-40 million seems like a good possibility. We're not quite going to push to the higher end of that range, but we are expecting a performance right around $36 million for the five-day and $22 million for the three-day.

Rounding out the top five, look for Sony's Sicario: Day of the Soldado to bring in around $9.5 million over the weekend for a domestic cume nearing $40 million after ten days in release.

Elsewhere, Roadside is hoping to follow in the footsteps of recently successful documentaries with the release of the Whitney Houston doc Whitney debuting in 454 theaters.

Documentaries have had a strong 2018 so far and outside of just Whitney this weekend, Focus is looking to enjoy its third straight weekend in the top ten with their Mister Rogers doc Won't You be My Neighbor? expanding into 891 locations (+237) and pushing the film's domestic cume near $12 million. Additionally, Neon is expanding the release of Three Identical Strangers this weekend into 51 locations (+46) after it brought in a whopping $171k from just five locations last weekend, and Magnolia has already seen RBG become the studio's highest grossing release ever, grossing over $11.5 million.

In limited release this weekend, Annapurna will debut Sorry to Bother You in 16 theaters; Neon will re-release the 1986 Tonya Harding documentary Sharp Edges into two locations; and Magnolia will release Under the Tree.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (4,206 theaters) - $88.0 M
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (4,344 theaters) - $29.0 M
  • Incredibles 2 (4,113 theaters) - $25.6 M
  • The First Purge (3,031 theaters) - $22.0 M
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado (3,055 theaters) - $9.5 M
  • Uncle Drew (2,742 theaters) - $7.5 M
  • Ocean's 8 (2,604 theaters) - $4.9 M
  • Tag (2,157 theaters) - $2.9 M
  • Deadpool 2 (1,267 theaters) - $2.1 M
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor? (891 theaters) - $1.8 M

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