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Aquaman Jason Momoa.png

Box Office Report: Yes, An Octopus Plays the Drums in 'Aquaman'

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | December 30, 2018 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | December 30, 2018 |


Aquaman Jason Momoa.png

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. I hope lots of food and drink were consumed, presents were received and any time you had to spend with your extended family free of agony. Aquaman was the number 1 Christmas movie and it held onto the top spot for a second week with a $51.5m weekend. That’s only 23.5% down from the previous weekend, which is strong for a blockbuster like this. Audiences really wanted underwater madness and an octopus playing the drums for their festive viewing. Can’t say I blame them. It’s a fun movie!

Previously, I’d been predicting that while Aquaman would have the biggest opening weekend, it would drop off quickly and Mary Poppins Returns would be the slow burn success of the season domestically. Think of Venom versus A Star is Born for a similar comparison. I’m not so sure that’ll be the case now since Aquaman is doing so much better than anticipated, but I still believe a lot of smart money is on Mary Poppins Returns. In its second week, attendance jumped 19%, bringing domestic grosses to just under $99m so far.

Bumblebee sadly isn’t doing great, sticking at number 3 with $20m this weekend. It’s only made $6m more than Clint Eastwood’s The Mule domestically. That’s 2018 in a nutshell: Rooting against celebrated auteurs in favour of Transformers prequels. The Mule is doing great three weeks in with $11.7m this weekend. That’s 24% up from last weekend and the film has already made back its $50m budget. See, your cranky grandparents who think all lives matter need Christmas movies too.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse made $18.3m this weekend and has grossed back its $90m budget domestically. I’m not sure Sony realized what they had on their hands here until the marketing was done and the reviews came in.

New this week, opening Christmas Day, and landing at number 6 is Vice with $7.7m. That’s… fine, I guess? For an Xmas movie that received TERRIBLE reviews and is about a hugely divisive political figure at a time when we aren’t exactly crying out for more of those, they aren’t the worst numbers, but keep in mind that this film’s budget is estimated at around $60m and it’ll need to make about $150m to break even. A lot of Oscar hopes are riding on this and it could do well if it gets the right push but these reviews are awful and audience responses were nowhere near as kind as they were for Adam McKay’s last movie, The Big Short. Having said that, the film is still the highest grossing domestic release ever for Annapurna, and they could use a hit. Shame it wasn’t The Sisters Brothers.

Holmes and Watson opened at number 7 with a $7.3m weekend. That’s not good, obviously. It doesn’t help when you don’t do critics screenings so some poor sap has to go see this turd on Christmas Day.

In limited release, Simmba, an Indian film starring Ranveer Singh, made $1.725m from only 300 screens, while Mimi Leder’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex took in $690k from 33 cinemas. John C. Reilly fared better with his other release this week, at least in terms of reviews, with Stan & Ollie, which made $79k from 5 cinemas, while Annapurna’s other Oscar hopeful Destroyer took in $58k from 3 cinemas.

This coming week sees the release of Escape Room and not much else. Welcome to January!

You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.

What films did you watch over the festive period? Let us know in the comments.



Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.


Header Image Source: Warner Bros.


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