Marvel and Disney’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may have stayed atop the domestic box office chart in its sophomore outing with $32.2 million, but the real superhero of the weekend was Universal’s high-concept genre pic Cocaine Bear.
Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Cocaine Bear opened to $23.1 million after stealing away younger adults — and particularly males — from the Ant-Man threequel. Overseas, it sniffed out $5.3 million for an early global total of $28.4 million.
Ant-Man 3 fell 69.7 percent in North America, the worst decline ever for a title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after eclipsing Black Widow‘s 67.8 percent drop (the latter pic had the disadvantage of opening during the pandemic, and was made available simultaneously in the home).
The Ant-Man threequel also suffered the worst second-weekend drop of any superhero film opening to $100 million or more. DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice previously sat in the hot seat at 69.1 percent. Among MCU movies in this category, last year’s Thor: Love and Thunder saw biggest decline, or 67.7 percent, after debuting to $144.2 million. And among any film starting off with $100 million or more, the final Harry Potter installment, released in 2011, tops the list of biggest second-weekend drops with a decline of 72 percent, according to Comscore.
Ant-Man 3 had opened to $120.4 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, including a franchise-best $106.1 million for the three days (the three-day number is used as the official comparison going forward). But poor word of mouth is clearly hurting the movie, along with the competition posed by Cocaine Bear. Nor did a historic storm on the West Coast help matters. Its global total stands at $363.6 million.
Cocaine Bear is a dark comedy about a drug smuggling operation that goes horribly awry when a 500-pound bear ingests a duffel bag of cocaine and goes on a killing rampage in a small Georgia town. Banks also produced the high-profile genre pic alongside Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Max Handelman, Brian Duffield and Aditya Sood. The feature earned a B- Cinemascore, which while low, generally is not a problem for horror-centric films.
Heading into the weekend, Cocaine Bear was tracking to open in the $15 million to $17 million range.
In addition to Cocaine Bear, Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company’s Jesus Revolution also— opening ahead of expectations. The faith-based feature — earning a coveted A+ Cinemascore — debuted to a rousing $15.5 million to place a strong No. 3. The 1970s-set feature is inspired by true events and centers on a revivalist Christian movement that swept America.
More to come.