In the final weekend of 2018, Aquaman still led the pack at the box office, but other films like Mary Poppins Returns, The Mule and Second Act enjoyed post-holiday bumps too, even amid an onslaught of new Christmas offerings like Vice, Holmes and Watson, On the Basis of Sex and the Netflix phenomenon Bird Box.
Warner Bros. said Sunday that Aquaman added an estimated 51.6 million dollars in North American ticket sales over the weekend to take first place again. Down just 24 per cent from its domestic debut, the DC Comics release, which has been No. 1 internationally for four weeks, has now grossed nearly 748.8 million dollars worldwide.
Although other films in theatres were left in Aquaman’s wake, more than a few in the top 10 experienced an uncommon uptick in returns this weekend. Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns ended the weekend up an estimated 19 per cent, in second place, with 28 million dollars, while Bumblebee, down only five per cent, settled in third with 20.5 million dollars.
Up 11 per cent, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse got fourth with 18.3 million dollars, and The Mule, up 24 per cent, took fifth with 11.8 million dollars.
The Jennifer Lopez-led Second Act, which got off to a slow start last weekend, also found itself up 11 per cent, with 7.2 million dollars in seventh place. But the biggest bump of all came for Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, which was up nearly 40 per cent in its sixth weekend in theatres, with 6.5 million dollars.
“There is a bit of a lull on the weekend leading into Christmas. People are busy and distracted,” said Comscore’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “But the weekend after, most of these films in the top 10 got a bounce.”
This so-called “catch-up” weekend made it a little difficult for the Christmas newcomers to make a huge impact, however, especially when the big wide-releases this time were either politically charged (the Dick Cheney movie Vice) or poorly reviewed (Holmes and Watson, which is in the single digits on Rotten Tomatoes and got a deathly D+ CinemaScore).
Annapurna’s Vice, starring Christian Bale as the former Vice President, came out on top for the new films, grossing 7.8 million dollars from the weekend and 17.7 million dollars since its Christmas opening. A leading contender at the Golden Globe Awards this coming Sunday, the film earned mixed reviews from critics and a C+ CinemaScore from audiences.
“That a movie with that subject matter can ride a wave to sixth place is really indicative of how interested people are in this movie,” Dergarabedian said. “This is required viewing for anyone studying the awards season race.”
Driven by the star-power of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, Holmes and Watson managed to take in 7.3 million dollars despite the negative audience and critic reviews. The Sony film has grossed 19.7 million dollars since Christmas Day.
And in limited release, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg film On the Basis of Sex starring Felicity Jones grossed 690,000 dollars from 33 locations, for a total of 1.5 million dollars since its debut. The Laurel and Hardy film Stan & Ollie, also with Reilly, opened on five screens to 79,674 thousand dollars,” and Destroyer, with Nicole Kidman, earned 58,472 thousand dollars from three locations.
The box office year as a whole is barreling toward a record 11.9 billion dollars in returns, as time runs out on 2018, although final numbers won’t be in from all the studios until mid-week.
“This is the perfect way to end a record box office year,” Dergarabedian said. “This weekend represented everything that this year was about: Diversity, escapism and the movie-going experience in the theatre, once again proving that the movie theatre can take on all competition and come out a winner.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1.Aquaman, 51.6 million dollars (85.4 million dollars international).
2.Mary Poppins Returns, 28 million dollars (28.9 million dollars international).
3.Bumblebee, 20.5 million dollars (45.7 million dollars international).
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 18.3 million dollars (27.4 million dollars international).
5.The Mule, 11.8 million dollars.
6.Vice, 7.8 million dollars (875,160 thousand dollars international).
7. Holmes and Watson, 7.3 million dollars (4 million dollars international).
8. Second Act, 7.2 million dollars (1.5 million dollars international).
9. Ralph Breaks the Internet, 6.5 million dollars (13.7 million dollars international).
10. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, 4.2 million dollars (17.5 million dollars international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
1. Aquaman, 85.4 million dollars.
2. Bumblebee, 45.7 million dollars.
3. Mary Poppins Returns, 28.9 million dollars.
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 27.4 million dollars.
5. Kill Mobile, 20 million dollars.
6. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, 17.5 million dollars.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody, 17.1 million dollars.
8. Mojin: The Worm Valley, 16.7 million dollars.
9. Ralph Breaks the Internet, 13.7 million dollars.
10. Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, 8.2 million dollars.