Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Aquaman Crests With $72.1 Million

Plus, Mary Poppins and Bumlbebee do decently though don't dazzle.

by | December 23, 2018 | Comments

Welcome to the home stretch. The holiday season (November through New Year’s week) had been holding pace as the fourth best ever (behind 2017, 2013 and 2012), though it fell to sixth this weekend. However, this upcoming week’s ticket sales will push the industry into their highest-grossing year ever, besting the 2016 record of $11.37 billion.


King of the Crop: Aquaman Leaps To The Surface And Pursues The Clouds

(Photo by Warner Bros)

Aquaman led the way this weekend, grossing more than the next three films combined. It’s $67.4 million start was the 9th best ever in December (it made another $4.7 million with Amazon previews last weekend) and yet was still the weakest opening in the DC Universe to date by some margin. That should be expected given the rejection of Justice League which introduced Jason Momoa’s superhero. That film opened to $93.4 million and finished with $229 million – itself the weakest gross of the Universe. Aquaman would really have to fail with audiences going forward not to reach that amount. The film’s support with critics dropped as the Tomatometer has fallen to 64% after some initial robust reviews from the junket crowd. Aquaman’s worldwide total has risen to over $482 million.


Fresh Surprise: Bumblebee Shocks, But Not At Box Office

(Photo by Paramount)

There is only one number that earns Bumblebee its slot here and it’s certainly not its opening weekend. Bumblebee’s $21 million start is less than half of what Transformers: The Last Knight opened to. No, the real impressive number is the Tomatometer score: 94%. The total score of the four Michael Bay Transformers sequels combined is just 88%. That’s four films. (The original received a 57%.) Whether or not Bumblebee can continue to draw family audiences in such a crowded season remains to be seen, but even catching The Last Knight’s $130 million means the $135 million production will be relying on its international draw to turn a profit. None of the live-action Transformers films have grossed less than $600 million worldwide.


Rotten Returns: Welcome To Marwen! Hello? Seriously, You Can Come In.

(Photo by Universal)

In a sad turn of events Robert Zemeckis’ current box office status is looking a lot like the beginning of his career, marked by I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Used Cars, before Romancing the Stone and Back to the Future saved him. Countless masterpieces later, the director has fallen on hard times again in ticket sales. Sony opened The Walk wide a week after The Martian. It grossed $3.7 million and finished with just $10.1m. Allied was an $85 million production that Brad Pitt did no press for as he was in the middle of his domestic issues with Angelina Jolie. It ended up making just $40 million domestic.

This weekend, Universal opened Welcome to Marwen and it, unfortunately, reached new lows for Zemeckis. The film opened in just 1,911 theaters but a $1,234 per-theater-average is weak for any release. Critically it is the worst-reviewed film of his career by a margin; What Lies Beneath received a 46%. That is just the fifth rotten score ever for Zemeckis, but the opening was even worse than The Walk with just a $2.3 million tally. 


The Top Ten And Beyond: Mary Poppins Eyes The Musical Long Game

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns opened with a $22.2 million haul this weekend, it’s total now up to $31 million. These may seem like low numbers but do we need to remind you of La La Land, Chicago and just how well The Greatest Showman did last year?  Even Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera started with just $4 million and stretched to $51 million. Watch for those Poppins numbers to grow steadily for several weeks.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse rose to almost $65 million this weekend and is currently on a path to between $125-$135 million. Clint Eastwood’s The Mule‘s made nearly $10 million in its second frame; final estimate is still a bit erratic but expect a tally between $65-$75 million.

The $6.5 million opening of Second Act (42%) ranks between Angel Eyes ($9.2 million) and Gigli ($3.7 million) for Jennifer Lopez films. Ralph Breaks the Internet ($5 million this weekend) remains slightly ahead of the pace of Coco so $200 million is still very much in play for it, though the $175 million production is still looking for some international help to get into the profit margin. Focus expanded Mary Queen of Scots into 795 theaters and it grossed $2.2 million to breach the top 10. In five theaters fewer, The Favourite made $2 million and has grossed a total of $10 million to date. Finally, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born crossed the $200 million mark this weekend, becoming the 11th film of 2018 to reach that milestone. All eyes will now be on Aquaman, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Mary Poppins Returns to make this year the first to have 14 films to do it.


This Time Last Year: Last Jedi Reigned But Jumanji and Showman Were Just Warming Up

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

The Last Jedi took the top spot for a second straight week, but its holiday archenemy, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle made its debut at number 2 with $36.1 million. Christmas Eve fell on Sunday last year and a number of slow starters would go to become huge earners. Pitch Perfect 3 started with just under $20 million and ended up making $104 million. Then there was The Greatest Showman which opened on Wednesday, made less than $5 million in its first two days and $8.8 million over the weekend. It’s final tally was $174 million. The musical’s 19.79 multiple over its opening weekend was second only to Titanic (20.97) for December films opening on more than 2,500 screens. Also opening were Alexander Payne’s Downsizing to $4.9 million and Father Figures with $3.2 million. Last year’s top 10 grossed $164.3 million and averaged 66.6% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed $161.3 Million and averaged 66.8%


On the Vine: Three (In)Famous Pairings And Two Strong Women For The Holidays

(Photo by Sony Pictures)

In just a few days Christmas brings us heroes and villains, though each with a comic slant. There’s Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Holmes & Watson, which Sony is hiding from critics so beware its eventual score on the Tomatometer. Adam McKay’s Vice has been dividing critics since it started screening: it’s barely holding on to a Fresh rating at 68% despite positioning as a significant awards player this season. Doing much better with critics are the upcoming limited releases are Nicole Kidman in Destroyer (78%), Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex (73%), and John C. Reilly in the second of famous pairings for the week with Stan & Ollie (90%).

The Full Top 10: December 14-16

  1. Aquaman – $67.4 million ($72.1 million total)
  2. Mary Poppins Returns – $22.2 million ($31.0 million total)
  3. Bumblebee $21.0 million ($21.0 million total)
  4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $16.7 million ($64.8 million total)
  5. The Mule – $9.9 million ($35.6 million total)
  6. The Grinch – $8.1 million ($253.2 million total)
  7. Second Act – $6.5 million ($6.5 million total)
  8. Ralph Breaks the Internet – $4.9 million ($162.0 million total)
  9. Welcome to Marwen $2.3 million ($2.3 million total)
  10. Mary Queen of Scots  – $2.2 million ($3.5 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Tag Cloud

Comedy TCA 2017 2019 Winners RT21 SXSW Creative Arts Emmys New York Comic Con Heroines 2017 Columbia Pictures Action animated First Look golden globes political drama MSNBC YouTube Premium Bravo Paramount Network Syfy TLC psychological thriller A&E Biopics comiccon theme song discovery CBS Superheroe crime drama Tumblr FXX diversity Reality Competition Star Trek Logo Set visit crossover Quiz OWN Drama politics Black Mirror zero dark thirty Tomatazos The Arrangement space Star Wars San Diego Comic-Con Food Network Amazon Prime Photos Cosplay Awards BBC America Shudder Rocketman vampires Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Calendar Sundance Now Emmy Nominations Super Bowl Musicals Cannes Extras Infographic Showtime 24 frames NBC TV Land GoT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Walt Disney Pictures Esquire Emmys MCU History HBO anime streaming Countdown Mary Poppins Returns Election jamie lee curtis Comic Book comic DC Universe TBS E3 television festivals Women's History Month PBS PaleyFest toy story spinoff USA Fox News Kids & Family Sneak Peek TruTV Sci-Fi APB Video Games Sundance game show El Rey richard e. Grant Adult Swim binge Disney Channel DirecTV Fantasy cats BET CBS All Access cooking Opinion Ovation Marvel adaptation Apple X-Men Awards Tour Pirates IFC true crime Disney Trivia Character Guide Musical Box Office American Society of Cinematographers Martial Arts adventure FX Rock technology Polls and Games Mary Tyler Moore Shondaland ABC Family social media Grammys Animation USA Network 007 Best and Worst talk show Valentine's Day 21st Century Fox strong female leads Song of Ice and Fire Hulu Lucasfilm zombies LGBT Toys police drama See It Skip It award winner Mystery TNT Country VICE facebook cops DGA Ellie Kemper Thanksgiving docudrama sports teaser casting SundanceTV Starz Film Festival robots ITV Superheroes serial killer science fiction finale TIFF Writers Guild of America justice league Red Carpet medical drama period drama war President Sony Pictures AMC based on movie National Geographic Anna Paquin Nominations DC streaming service thriller biography Britbox CNN Amazon E! Mudbound doctor who Comedy Central Acorn TV dceu Masterpiece Mindy Kaling Summer Podcast Schedule historical drama unscripted TCM sequel 45 Premiere Dates supernatural cults green book Interview Spring TV 2018 mockumentary Oscars Pet Sematary SDCC Spike Chernobyl Lifetime Freeform ABC boxoffice Year in Review crime thriller YouTube Red Trailer Pride Month Lionsgate Western The Witch nature psycho singing competition Rom-Com Winter TV travel Comics on TV WGN harry potter Vudu ESPN Crackle dramedy Spectrum Originals Cartoon Network FOX natural history YA Universal Warner Bros. blaxploitation Music Fall TV zombie Teen spy thriller TCA TV Paramount Netflix dc IFC Films Tarantino Mary poppins Pop ratings 2016 crime mutant Reality transformers Certified Fresh DC Comics anthology sitcom 20th Century Fox VH1 composers dragons 2015 what to watch Dark Horse Comics Captain marvel Elton John Trophy Talk cinemax Horror MTV Rocky hist Pixar elevated horror Christmas Ghostbusters miniseries romance Epix GIFs Watching Series Nickelodeon Marathons aliens spider-man Nat Geo RT History NYCC disaster GLAAD LGBTQ The CW CMT witnail CW Seed Stephen King BBC Brie Larson Holidays