If DC superheroes were a high school football team, Aquaman would’ve been the perennial backup placekicker: He was part of the team, sure, but not likely to get nominated for the homecoming court. His superpowers just didn’t feel all that … well, super. Nifty, yes. But if Lex Luther’s creating havoc in, say, Nebraska, Aquaman’s fish-talking skills are sidelined.
No longer: On the box-office playing field, Aquaman is now DC’s starting quarterback.
Aquaman, the movie, spent a third-straight weekend at No. 1, netting an estimated $30.7 million in North America to bring its total domestic catch to $259.7 million. The superhero flick is now seventh on 2018’s list of highest-grossing movies (its 2019 earnings count for the previous year), and it’ll likely pass Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch for sixth before we reconvene next week.
But that impressive tally barely hints at Aquaman’s real power. Perhaps fittingly for this oceanic hero without borders, most of his oomph comes from, ahem, overseas. The film has earned a staggering $681 million internationally, bringing his total haul to a still-climbing $940 million. In the realm of DC superheroes, only The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises have earned more globally. Sorry, Superman. Grab a seat on the bench.
A newcomer to the charts, Escape Room, picked its way into second place with $18 million, already doubling what its makers spent on it. That kind of return causes many a movie-executive heart to flutter—even if the thriller didn’t exactly offer heart-stopping thrills.
A bevy of familiar films round out the top five. Mary Poppins Returns dropped from second to third this week, earning $15.8 million. That’s a bit under what Disney was hoping for, but still enough to feed plenty of birds.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse celebrated its Golden Globe win (for best animated feature) with a $13 million weekend, which landed it in fourth place. That pushed it just in front of Bumblebee. The sixth film in the Transformers franchise—and certainly the best of the bunch—banked $12.8 million for fifth.