The following post contains SPOILERS for the second post-credits of Ant-Man and the Wasp which is entirely inconsequential, hence the existence of this post telling you it’s okay not to wait around for 15 minutes to watch it. It also has some spoilers for a few other recent Marvel post-credits scenes.
As one of the lucky folks who generally gets to see Marvel movies before their release, there is a question I now expect to get from friends and loved ones every single time there is a new installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It used to be “Is there a scene at the end of the credits?” Now there’s always a scene at the end of the credits. So the original question has morphed into “Do I need to stay for the scene at the end of the credits?”
I don’t typically think of myself as a service journalist. In this case, I guess I am. I’m the guy who sits there until the end of the movie so you know whether or not you have to sit there too. Reader, I am very confident saying that in the case of Ant-Man and the Wasp you do not need to sit there.
Definitely wait for the first credits scene, the one that arrives after the closing animated credits. In most Marvel movies, this mid-credits scene is the most consequential one, and that’s definitely true for Ant-Man and the Wasp, where it has major implications for Ant-Man and Wasp, and for the events of Avengers 4.
If you do wait past that, you’re going to sit through about 10 minutes of credits from at least half a dozen visual effects companies for a very brief giant ant joke. (You can read detailed descriptions of both credits scenes here but basically it’s a big ant playing the drums, the end.) It’s not a bad joke, necessarily; it’s just not something that necessarily demands your attention.
I’ve already witnessed proof of this first-hand. A friend who saw one of the first public Ant-Man and the Wasp screenings texted me from inside the theater when the end credits first started rolling. “Do I wait?” he asked. “It’s honestly not worth staying for,” I replied.
About 20 minutes later, my friend wrote back: “You’re right, it was not worth staying for.”
As Marvel has codified the rules of their post-credits scenes, this is the groove they’ve largely settled into; the clip right after the animated outro is important and the one at the very end is a typically a cute tag to a running joke in the movie that’s funny, but maybe not quite funny enough to justify hanging around in the dark for a quarter hour. Like in Thor: Ragnarok, where the mid-credits scene set up Avengers: Infinity War and the second one was a tag on the end of the Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster trying to escape Sakaar. Or in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where there’s some teases about Michael Keaton’s future as the Vulture, and then the last thing you see is Chris Evans’ Captain America, doing a meta joke version of his instructional videos seen in Peter Parker’s high school.
Sometimes that second scene is mildly important (the one at the end of Black Panther springs to mind), but more often that not, it’s variations on that Captain America Homecoming gag. And I suspect that’ss because Marvel has realized that many people don’t stay until the very end. Only the hardest of the hardcores care that much, so you don’t want to be dropping anything too vital to future movies back there.
Certainly there is nothing in the second Ant-Man that you will be kicking yourself about missing. I would recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp; it’s a fun comic-book movie. It’s better than the first Ant-Man. But when you see those credits, I’d hit the bricks. Watch the giant ant joke later when it shows up on Netflix or cable and you can fast forward to it.
Gallery – The Best Marvel Movie Posters Ever: