‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ marches to $76 million launch

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” squashed the competition at the domestic box office.

The Marvel sequel — starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly — opened with $76 million from 4,206 North American locations. That start is significantly ahead of the original “Ant-Man,” which debuted with $57 million in 2015.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” easily topped the weekend, as fellow box office newcomer “The First Purge” scared up $17 million from 3,031 theaters. Meanwhile, “Incredibles 2” narrowly stole the No. 2 spot from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” The blockbusters earned $29 million and $28.6 million respectively this weekend.

Overseas, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” collected $85 million, bringing the worldwide opening to $161 million. Across 20 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought in $17 billion globally. All 20 films have opened No. 1 at the box office.

Praise seems to be strong for “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which holds a promising 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The acclaimed first film came in slightly lower with an 82 percent Rotten Tomatoes average.

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