'Aquaman' makes a big splash to top North American box office

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 24 2018 08:26 AM

'Aquaman' makes a big splash to top North American box office 1
(L-R) Director James Wan, together with actors Amber Heard and Jason Momoa comes onstage during the 'Aquaman' Asian Press Conference held at the Grand Hyatt Manila in Taguig City on December 11, 2018. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

LOS ANGELES - New Warner Bros. release "Aquaman" made the biggest waves in North American theaters over the weekend with $67.4 million in ticket sales, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations estimated Sunday.

That put it well ahead of two other new holiday-timed releases, as Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns" took in $22.2 million for the three-day weekend, flying slightly higher than Paramount's "Bumblebee" at $21 million.

Together, the three helped boost the year's domestic box-office revenue toward a record $11.8 billion, Hollywood Reporter said.

"Aquaman" stars Jason Momoa in a title role infused with new swagger by director James Wan, with Variety calling Momoa's Aquaman "a bare-chested Hawaiian super-stud with long, shaggy surfer hair and all-over tribal tattoos."

The look seems to work: The film has already taken in some $410 million outside North America.

"Mary Poppins," while lacking truly boffo opening numbers, is expected to follow past musicals in enjoying a long box-office run.

The sequel to the 1964 movie stars Emily Blunt as the stern but kind-hearted nanny (Julie Andrews in the original), backed by Lin-Manuel Miranda of "Hamilton" fame. Dick Van Dyke, Mary Poppins' Cockney-accented friend in the original film, makes a cameo.

"Bumblebee," a prequel to the "Transformers" movies, stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena. It drew a lofty 94 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes as all three of the top grossing new movies earned strong A- ratings from CinemaScores.

In fourth was Sony's "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," taking in $16.7 million. It has Peter Parker making way for Miles Morales as a black, Latino Spider-Man.

And fifth spot went to "The Mule" from Warner Bros., at $9.3 million. Clint Eastwood, who at 88 says this will be his last acting part, directs and takes the lead role as a destitute 90-year-old who turns to transporting cocaine for a Mexican drug cartel.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:

"Dr. Seuss's The Grinch" ($8.2 million)

"Second Act" ($6.5 million)

"Ralph Breaks the Internet" ($4.6 million)

"Welcome to Marwen" ($2.4 million)

"Mary Queen of Scots" ($2.2 million)

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