‘Aquaman’ Stays Strong With $51.5 Million in Second Weekend

“Aquaman” easily retained its reign in North America for the second weekend in a row, dominating box office charts with $51.5 million from 4,125 locations.
That marks a decline of just 24 per cent from its opening weekend of $72 million and brings the DC superhero tentpole past $188 million in the states. Since it’s a busy time of year for moviegoing, “Aquaman” will likely cross $200 million by New Year’s and could become Warner Bros.’ biggest film of 2018. Overseas, the movie, directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa, has surpassed $560 million.
There was enough holiday cheer at multiplexes to spread the wealth. Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” held the No 2 spot with $28 million, a solid uptick of 28 per cent to take ticket sales just shy of $100 million. Globally, the musical has amassed $173 million.
Paramount’s “Bumblebee” landed in third place again, picking up $21 million from 3,550 venues, a small 3 per cent drop. The “Transformers” origin story with Hailee Steinfeld has made $67 million through Sunday.
Meanwhile, a pair of Christmas Day releases — “Vice” and “Holmes and Watson” — are neck in neck for sixth place. The former, Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, generated $7.8 million for a domestic haul of $17.7 million. That’s a middling result for a movie that cost Annapurna $60 million to produce before accounting for marketing costs. The latter, “Holmes and Watson,” a comedy starring Will Ferrell and John C Reilly, brought in $7.3 million during the three-day stretch and $19.8 million since Tuesday. The good news, for the comedy at least, is its Rotten Tomatoes score has jumped from 0 per cent to 9 per cent. The bad news is Columbia Pictures shelled out $42 million to make the absurd take on Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
Not falling far behind is STX and Jennifer Lopez’s “Second Act.” The romantic comedy saw a gain this weekend, up 11 per cent with $7.2 million for a domestic cume of $21.7 million.
DreamWorks and Universal’s “Welcome to Marwen” continues to have a bleak holiday, dropping to No 14 with $2.23 million in its second outing. Robert Zemeckis directed the drama starring Steve Carell as a man who attempts to overcome his PTSD. It’s made just $7.7 million, branding it as one of this year’s biggest flops. The movie, based on the 2010 documentary “Marwencol,” carries a $40 million price tag and stands to lose the studio over $45 million when marketing and distribution costs are considered.
A number of holdovers rounded out the top five. Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” nabbed fourth place, amassing $18 million in its third week of release. The latest big-screen adaptation of Marvel’s web-slinging hero, which has received high praise from critics and fans alike, just crossed the $100 million mark in North America. Fifth place went to Warner Bros.’ “The Mule” with $11.7 million from 2,787 theaters for a domestic tally of $60 million. Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the drama, which saw a 24 per cent hike this weekend.
At the specialty box office, Participant Media’s “On the Basis Of Sex” pocketed $690,000 from 33 screens. Felicity Jones portrays a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the biopic, which launched on Christmas Day and has since made $1.5 million. It secured the best screen-average of the weekend with $20,877 per venue. The studio plans to expand to 100 theaters next weekend.