The multi-dimensional cluster of wall-crawlers had the biggest December opening for an animated movie, but couldn't quite compare to the live-action versions of Marvel's famous superhero. Of the web-head's six other headlining appearances, the 2012 reboot THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with Andrew Garfield had the lowest opening with a $62 million start (Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN 3 is the big winner with $151 million).
Also directed by the Hollywood veteran, the R-rated crime thriller held up fairly well compared to openings for some of his other recent directing efforts -- $12.5 million for last year's THE 15:17 TO PARIS and $13.3 million for 2014's JERSEY BOYS. However, SULLY flew much higher with a $35 million takeoff in 2016 and AMERICAN SNIPER blew it away with $89 million on its first wide weekend in January 2015.
For Eastwood's acting roles, it's better than the $12 million opening of his last on-screen appearance in 2012's THE TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE and close to the $18 million launch of SPACE COWBOYS in 2000, but some distance from the $29 million first wide weekend of 2009's GRAN TORINO (still his biggest movie with a domestic gross of $148 million).
Eastwood's 37th feature behind the camera cost a reported $50 million. Critics were mixed on the screen legend's drug trafficking exploits, giving it an average of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes.
THE GRINCH continued slinking around Whoville in third place with $11.5 million, taking the animated Dr. Seuss Christmas criminal to a domestic total of $239.2 million and $372 million worldwide over its sixth weekend (on a reported $75 million cost).
After sitting on top for three weeks, Disney's RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET tumbled to fourth place with $9.5 million. The $175 million WRECK-IT RALPH sequel has reached a domestic total of $154.4 million and a worldwide total of $285.1 million.
In fifth place was the new post-apocalypse fantasy MORTAL ENGINES with an opening of $7.5 million.
Produced by Peter Jackson and directed by his FX protege Christian Rivers, the adaptation of Philip Reeve's young-adult steampunk books about mobile cities cost a reported $100 million.
The PG-13 adventure has captured an additional $34.8 million since it started rolling in international territories last week for a current worldwide total of $42.3 million.
The boxing sequel CREED II was in sixth place with $5.3 million, punching up a domestic total of $104.8 million and drawing closer to the original CREED's $109 million finish. The ROCKY spinoff now has a worldwide total of $131.8 million on a reported $50 million cost.