Weekend Box Office (12/27-12/29): 'Aquaman' Surpasses 'Justice League', Outpacing 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' And

‘Aquaman’ continues to out-swim the competition at the box office.  In its second weekend, the DC Comics-based movie churned up another $52.1 million.  Males under 25 made up the largest group of attendees, at 31%, with a lot of those being kids.  Just as was the case last week, ‘Aquaman’ continues to track extra-well with females, making it a rarity among superhero movies.  Women over 25 made up 21% of audiences and among families, moms outnumbered dads 52% to 48%.  It’s… kinda the ‘Magic Mike’ of comic book flicks.

With this weekend’s gross, ‘Aquaman”s treasure chest is filled to the tune of $189.3M after ten days.  That’s 7% more than ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ at that same point, 10% more than ‘Justice League’ and 25% better than ‘Doctor Strange’.  Worldwide ‘Aquaman’ will have crossed $750M by the end of Sunday, which is better than ‘Justice League’ made during its entire run, having stalled out at $657.9M.

One final Aqua-note, this film was granted a rare theatrical extension in China.  Usually foreign movies are only allowed to run a limited time, but ‘Aquaman’ has been so popular, that the Chinese public wants more.  Considering that this is the second-largest national audience for US films, that’s an incredibly positive sign.  It’s rather bizarre, but who knew ‘Aquaman’ would be the hero to resuscitate Warner Brothers’ DC franchise?

Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ conjured up $32M in its second weekend, which is 36% more than it made during its opening weekend.  It looks as though more people opted to see ‘Aquaman’ first, but thanks to strong word of mouth, checked out ‘Mary Poppins’ the following weekend.  It’s normal for musicals to perform steadily over a long period of time, rather than open huge, anyway.  ‘Mary Poppins’ is outperforming last year’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ and that was a certified hit.

‘Bumblebee’ seems to be bumbling along, with experts coming to the conclusion that this film, which has a stellar 4½ stars among general audiences (out of 5) and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, should have been released on a different date.  With critics and audiences raving about how good it is, its lackluster performance can only be chalked up to it getting drowned out by ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’.  Earning $20.6M for the weekend, its grand total is now at $66.9M.  It’s trailing behind ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’, which is the lowest-grosser of the franchise, ending its theatrical run with $130.1M.  It’s questionable as to whether ‘Bumblebee’ will even match that.

Paramount is reportedly going to reboot the entire ‘Transformers’ brand in the coming years.  Had ‘Bumblebee’ been released in a less cluttered time frame, the studio wouldn’t have to bother with a reboot.  ‘Bumblebee’, under the right circumstances, would have worked just fine as a fresh foundation for future movies.  But unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though it will make enough, no matter how good it is.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘ is still sticking around, taking in another $19.3M.  It has now earned $104.6M in the US.  Clint Eastwood’s drama ‘The Mule’ continues to draw the older crowd, taking in another $12.3M.


  1. Aquaman (Warner Brothers) – $52.1M
  2. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney) – $32M
  3. Bumblebee (Paramount) – $20.6M
  4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony) – $19.3M
  5. The Mule (Warner Brothers) – $12.3M

By next weekend, school will have resumed and people will be recovering from the madness of the holidays.  Depending on location, the weather may also be moving deeper into winter.  January is usually a lousy month at the box office because of such things, so there won’t be a lot of new product arriving.  And the movies that are already out will likely take hits.

Teens may still need something to entertain them and the horror movie ‘Escape Room’ may do the trick.  It is one of the only movies opening next weekend.

Beyond that, the next big movie will most likely be M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass‘ which opens on January 18.

Check back next week, to see if ‘Escape Room’ is tough enough to take down the current crop of big-budget champs.

Source: Deadline