"Ant-Man and the Wasp" has the tough job of following "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War" at the 2018 box office. The "Ant-Man" sequel is the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it's not expected to be one of the major blockbusters of the franchise.

That said, early tracking suggests "Ant-Man and the Wasp" will substantially outpace the first movie in its opening weekend.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Paul Rudd/Evangeline Lilly sequel looks like it will make about $75 million at the domestic box office over the July 6-8 opening weekend.

"Ant-Man" opened to just under $58 million in 2015, for a total domestic box office intake of $180.2 million, plus just under $340 million overseas for a global total of $519.3 million.

Although it's good to see the sequel will apparently top the original, TheWrap noted that it would make "Ant-Man and the Wasp" the first Marvel Studios movie since "Doctor Strange" opened to $85M to post a domestic opening below $100 million.

That said, if "Ant-Man and the Wasp" gets a strong reaction from fans -- and jumps ahead in time to include big hints on what's ahead in "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers 4" -- it could be a giant surprise at the box office. Sometimes lower expectations help!

"Avengers: Infinity War" was always expected to crush at the box office, and it just passed $2 billion. It's one of only four movies to have ever made that much money (not adjusting for inflation). "Avengers 4" is expected to make a similar killing, when it opens after "Captain Marvel" next spring.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie Poster
Ant-Man and the Wasp
PG-132018
In Theaters on July 6, 2018

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categories Movies, Box Office