Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp is looking at an $82 million haul by Sunday night. My first thought was “that’s all?…a piddly $82 million over three days including the Thursday-night haul?” Then I stepped back and said, “Well, maybe that’s not so bad. It’s making $25 million more than the $57.2 million earned by the original Ant-Man three years ago.” If a sequel’s first-weekend haul is 44% higher than what the original managed, that’s cause for celebration.

Why, then, did that $82 million make me feel slightly let down? I guess I was thinking of Solo‘s first-weekend haul of $84 million. Solo was regarded by pretty much everyone as a major bust, right? Almost everyone hated it or felt bored or burned, nobody could stand Alden Ehrenreich trying to be Harrison Ford, etc.? And yet Solo, a piece of shit by any fair-minded yardstick, made almost $2 million more than Ant-Man and the Wasp, which is a much more entertaining film…c’mon.

Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro: “Any fanboy cynic attempting to make an argument that Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s weekend is less than Solo‘s $84.4M 3-day, or under the $93.8M domestic debut of DC’s Justice League, is missing the point. Ant-Man and the Wasp wasn’t an off-the-rails production like those movies which were hindered by their $300M-plus shooting costs. Sources tell us that Disney kept the shooting cost for Ant-Man and the Wasp around $162M net. That’s lower than other Marvel sequels like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($200M net), Thor: Dark World ($170M) and Thor: Ragnarok‘s ($180M) with a global P&A spend around $154M.

“The first Ant-Man profited close to $104M off a $519.3M worldwide gross and $130M net production cost. Wasp was hatched to do the same and should be in the black at around $600M or $650M worldwide.”

Nonetheless Solo‘s advance word was dreadful while the pre-opening buzz for Ant-Man and the Wasp couldn’t have been better…go figure.