‘Aquaman’ blows ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ out of the water at weekend box office
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.
On Tuesday, Sony and Columbia Pictures open the comedy “Holmes and Watson” and Annapurna Pictures debuts the drama “Vice.” Annapurna releases the crime thriller “Destroyer” and Focus Features premieres the drama “On the Basis of Sex” in limited release.
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