Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had a huge opening weekend for Disney and Marvel. The film grossed more than $250 million in its opening weekend, helping to propel Disney to more than $1 billion in box office revenue during the first two months of 2023. Huge totals for the company considering that January and February are usually slow months for the film industry.
But it appears the bloom is off the rose. Quantumania saw its receipts for its second weekend decline by 70 percent, the second largest drop for any Marvel movie. Despite the outstanding opening weekend, the movie was panned by critics with most of them pointing the lackluster use of computer generated images throughout the film.
And now it would seem we are starting to find out why. Vulture is reporting that Quantumania was not a priority for Marvel and that in most respects, the film took a backseat to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Both films were in post-production at the same time and in interviews with several of the visual effects (VFX) artists who worked on both films, they all say that Wakanda Forever took priority.
There was more pressure to ensure that Black Panther sequel came out perfect, which was understandable. There was more pressure on Marvel to create a better film given that the original Black Panther (2018) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. The death of actor Chadwick Boseman also created pressure on the studio to come up with a story without its lead character.
It wasn’t just that Wakanda Forever took priority, it was also a number of changes the director requested in post-production on Quantumania.
As one VFX artist at Marvel explains:
For Ant-Man, there were a lot of editorial changes happening toward the latter third and fourth of the project that were just too late. There’s a point of no return. Why certain things were changed, why certain notes were nitpicked longer than they should have been — that’s on Marvel.
The difference in the two films can also be seen in the critical response to each. Quantumania is only the second Marvel film to be listed as “rotten” on Rotten Tomato and earned a “B” from CinemaScore. The only other Marvel film to be received this poorly by critics was The Eternals (2021).
— Justin Chang (@JustinCChang) February 14, 2023
Despite all of the critical panning, the movie has still done very well for Marvel. It leaves the viewer to wonder if they can make something that makes this much money with minimal effort, why put in more?
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