‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Now Tied For Worst-Reviewed MCU Movie
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had a very big weekend (we love size jokes when writing about Ant-Man movies, don’t we folks?) at the box office. The film grossed some $120 million in the United States over the President’s Day weekend, and some $240 million worldwide. That’s easily the best opening in the franchise’s history; Ant-Man grossed $57 million in its debut in 2015 and Ant-Man and the Wasp made $75 million in 2018.
But if tons of people came out to see the film, some of them weren’t necessarily enthused with what they saw. The film earned a “B” from CinemaScore, which polls paying moviegoers on opening night. That’s way worse than the A and A- the first two Ant-Man films received, respectively.
And Quantumania’s Rotten Tomatoes score keeps drooping lower and lower. Today it hit 47 percent — meaning it is now tied for the worst-reviewed film in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 31 films to date, the only MCU movie that performed this poorly with critics is Eternals, which also has a 47 percent. If just a handful more critics weigh in with a few last-minute negative reviews, Quantumania will soon hold the title of worst-reviewed MCU movie all by itself. (Eternals is also the only MCU movie to get a B from CinemaScore, so don’t necessarily believe the folks who claim critics’ tastes are totally different from audience’s.)
Here are the five lowest-reviewed films in the history of Marvel Studios:
Among other things, that means that three of Marvel’s five worst-reviewed films were released in the last 18 months. That seems like a very ominous sign for a company that has long been defined by movies that were popular with audiences as well as critics. (The company never even had a movie rated “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes before Eternals in the fall of 2018.)
The biggest (yes, more size jokes) difference with Quantumania compared to the first to Ant-Mans was the decision to set it entirely in the Quantum Realm, and to shift the franchise’s priorities from small-scale action (you heard me, small scale) to a sci-fi epic introducing the new major MCU villain Kang. In my own (mixed-to-positive) review here at ScreenCrush I predicted that shift would make Quantumania “the most financially successful entry in the franchise” but also could be a choice that wasn’t to everyone’s taste. It looks like I was right on both fronts.
So far, this recent string of poorly-reviewed Marvel films haven’t made a huge impact on the studio’s bottom line. But one does wonder how long Marvel can keep churning out movies like this before it does begin to affect audience turnout. The company will have its next test when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5.