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Ant-Man and the Wasp just a tiny bit away from $500M worldwide box office

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Aug 24, 2018, 4:49 PM EDT

With Ant-Man and the Wasp looking at a healthy opening this weekend in China, the second adventure of Marvel's tiniest superheroes is within an insect's breath of hitting the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office.

Deadline reports that early estimates place the movie's Friday (Aug. 24) box office take in China at somewhere around $23-24 million. With the movie's total global take standing at $471.5 million as of Thursday, Ant-Man and the Wasp will come within $5 million of the vaunted half-billion mark by the time audiences sit through the two end credit sequences at tonight's final screening.

Based on Friday's estimates, Ant-Man and the Wasp could be looking at a $70 million opening weekend in China, which will push it well past the $500 million mark (the first film opened to $40 million in that country back in 2015).

What's kind of amazing about the first day's receipts in China, should they hold to the estimates, is that they will give Ant-Man and the Wasp the fourth best opening day for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film in that market after Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War.

Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp will pass $300 million internationally this weekend (it still has yet to open in Japan) and is sitting at a little over $208 million here in North America — already nearly $30 million past the first movie's domestic take (Ant-Man wrapped up worldwide at $519 million, which the follow-up should also surpass by the time the weekend is over).

What's funny about all this is that there were some naysayers online who were claiming Ant-Man and the Wasp could be Marvel's first box office disappointment. Coming in the wake of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, which grossed over $1 billion and $2 billion respectively, the sequel's box office take was always destined to look, uh, small. But no one seriously expected the Paul Rudd-Evangeline Lilly adventure to hit the same supersized box office heights as either of those pictures.

Still, the fact that two movies about characters largely unknown to the general public and, at least on the surface, seemingly quite silly conceptually, could combine to earn more than $1 billion on their own — well, let's just say that the Marvel haters might be feeling kind of puny themselves right now.