Monday, December 24, 2018

Monday's Headlines - 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.