Aquaman’s Box-Office Stocking Overflows

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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.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Kal El More than 1 year ago

Go Aquaman!! One of the best movies I’ve watched all year!

Question for PluggedIn, specifically Mr. Asay, as he wrote the review: why does your review of Marwen not mention the ‘feminist’ subtext? Ironically, the review takes great offense at what it perceived to be gross objectification of the females of Marwen, but it doesn’t mention that Hoagie declares to his Nazi foe late in the movie, “you just don’t get it... women are the saviors of the world!”

The review also doesn’t seem to address anything about the psychology/morality behind Mark’s views of himself or the women in his fantasy world. While real life Mark is timid and feels powerless after his assault, his fantasy self is brave and (other than the bit about the shoes) masculine and more of a protector, but in the stories Mark sets up even Hoagie seems to need regular saving by the women of Marwen, who are for the most part depicted as extremely confident, competent, and fearless. Not that there’s anything wrong with women being those things, but within the confines of the narrative Mark and even Hoagie can sometimes feel like a male damsel needing to be rescued by ‘superior’ women. It’s not a PC observation, I know, but had I known what agendas lurked beneath the surface of the film I may not have gone to see it. I frequently disagree with PluggedIn’s opinions, but where objectivity is concerned I greatly appreciate that they outline specific details of a movie’s content so that the relevant info is available to me before I am at the theater. I don’t begrudge you guys missing the odd nail in the tire, but I figured I’d bring it up in this case because,

1- hopefully it helps someone reading these comments

2- hopefully it helps PI notice these things in the future


charitysplace More than 1 year ago
I loved Mary Poppins Returns. What a joyful way to spend two hours.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Aquaman was fantastic! Absolutely fantastic. Loved every second of it. The beautiful action, well paced story, really good villains, and a cast that just really did a great job in their roles, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema. I loved it so much that I was strongly tempted to stick around for a second viewing! And while I ultimately chose not to, I absolutely cannot wait to see it again!

I was going to see either Spiderverse or Aquaman again depending on which on I liked more, but it’s honestly not even a contest. Aquaman is getting my money again.

Here’s hoping Shazam, Joker, and Wonder Woman 1984 can keep it up!