Nothing says Christmas like a soggy superhero with a big fork.
So said the masses that scurried to their local theaters this weekend in advance of the holiday—plunking down whatever they had left over from their Christmas shopping for tickets to Aquaman. The DC superhero flick earned $67.4 million to take the box-office crown. That’s perhaps not as prestigious as the throne of Atlantis, but it’ll do in a pinch.
In truth, Aquaman’s been dominating the cinematic seas for a while, at least internationally. The movie was tops overseas for the third straight week, and it earned another $91.3 million in about 70 non-North-American markets this weekend alone. So even though Aquaman just surfaced stateside, the finny phenom has already banked $482.8 million worldwide. And with lots more people expected to paddle over to theaters over Christmas, Aquaman’s ultimate grosses may be hard to … fathom.
But even as Aquaman cruised to the win, the competition on this exceptionally crowded weekend hardly floundered.
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns carried her peacock-handled umbrella to a second-place finish, pocketing a $22.2 million worth of tuppence during the traditional three-day weekend. But Poppins—whose titular character is no stranger to doing the unexpected—actually opened two days earlier, and its earnings from Wednesday and Thursday push its total haul floats to $31 million. That may not be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but it is a healthy spoon full of sugar. And experts believe it’s the type of movie that’ll hold well over the holidays. Forget the Banks children: It’s all about bank, period.
Bumblebee, yet another new arrival on the box-office scene, carried some surprisingly positive buzz to a $21 million weekend. The Transformers film finished third.
A couple of holdovers populated the rest of the top five. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse rode a wave of acclaim to a $16.7-million weekend to land in fourth, while Clint Eastwood’s drama The Mule moseyed to a $10-million, fifth-place finish.
Two other newcomers struggled to find an audience. New romcom Second Act didn’t even do that well for its first, finishing seventh with $6.5 million. Still, it did better than Steve Carell’s curious drama Welcome to Marwen. It barely squeezed inside the top 10, finishing ninth with $2.4 million.