As the holiday weekend bustles with five new wide releases, a new North American box office record is expected, surpassing 2016's record $11.4 billion by a hair. This year's box office currently stands at $11.4 billion through Sunday, a turnaround from 2017's lackluster $10.6 billion grosses.
In first place, Warner Bros.' "Aquaman" opened with $67.4 million at the box office for a cumulative $72.1 million, which includes tickets sold in special opening and preview events according to figures from measurement firm Comscore.
The $200-million superhero movie, starring "Game of Thrones" alum Jason Momoa in the titular role, opened in range of analysts’ predictions of $65 million to $70 million over the weekend. Globally, the film is No. 1 for the third week straight and crossed the $400 million mark internationally, earning $91.3 million this weekend for a global cumulative of $482.8 million.
Directed by James Wan, "Aquaman" is the first release from the studio's DC Comics Universe since last year's poorly received "Justice League." It earned an A- on CinemaScore and a 64% "fresh" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
At No. 2, Disney’s "Mary Poppins Returns" earned $22.2 million in its opening weekend and $31 million since its debut on Wednesday, well below analysts' five-day predictions of $55 million and even below the studio's more conservative estimate of $35 million.
The PG-rated follow-up to the studio's classic 1964 musical stars Emily Blunt as the British nanny made famous by Julie Andrews. It earned an A- rating on CinemaScore and a 77% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Paramount's "Bumblebee" debuted in third place with $21 million, in range of studio expectations of less than $25 million but below analyst projections of $40 million.
The $137-million movie is a spinoff of Michael Bay's popular "Transformers" franchise. Directed by Travis Knight, it was positively received by audiences and critics with a A- rating on CinemaScore and a 94% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In fourth place, Sony's "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" added $16.7 million in its second weekend, a 53% drop, for a cumulative $64.8 million.
Rounding out the top five, Warner Bros.' "The Mule," also in its second weekend, added $9.3 million for a cumulative $35 million.
Another debut, STX Entertainment's "Second Act" landed at No. 7 with $6.5 million, below analyst predictions of $8 million.
Starring Jennifer Lopez as a 40-something looking for a career boost, the $16-million film received mixed reviews with a B+ CinemaScore rating and a 41% "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes.
In ninth place, Universal's "Welcome to Marwen" opened with $2.3 million, well below analyst predictions of $7 million to $13 million.
The $39-million inspirational film stars Steve Carrell as a man who manages his memory loss by creating figurines based on the women in his life. It received a B- on CinemaScore and unfavorable reviews with a 25% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In limited release, Annapurna's "If Beale Street Could Talk," now in its second weekend, earned $114,902 in five theaters, a per-screen average of $22,980 and a cumulative $428,000.
Fox Searchlight expanded "The Favourite" into an additional 349 locations in its fifth weekend (for a total of 790) and earned $2 million, a per-screen average of $2,608 and a cumulative $10.1 million.
Focus Features’ "Mary Queen of Scots," in its third weekend, added 729 locations (for a total of 795), earning $2.2 million, a per-screen average of $2,818 and a cumulative $3.5 million.