With Christmas falling on a Tuesday this year it means a bit of a scrambled weekly rundown. The weekend figures would not tell the whole story, given that the HoliDAY is usually the biggest grossing frame on the calendar. Additionally some titles were being released ON Christmas. So for the week we held out and are including the grosses up to Christmas Day.
There were five major studio releases on the weekend to capitalize on the rush, three more on Christmas day, some awards hopefuls expanding at the same time, plus a wide number of strong holdovers trying to gather their share of booty from under the tree. So with that crowded schedule trying to pull crowds through the turnstiles here are the box office totals tabulated through Christmas Day.
1. AQUAMAN – $100.41 Million
The anticipated Jason Momoa turn has done rather well, delivering one of the better returns in the DC universe, but also receiving some decent audience reactions. Measuring the total run may be a challenge to see where it ends up all time in that stable, with such a crowded field of films. Overseas the film has already been a smash, with an additional $450 million taken in. In China alone the damp hero has been loved, netting over $230 million already and moving into the all-time charts in that kingdom. The holiday, and decent word on the street, should see this one sailing to good totals.
2. MARY POPPINS RETURNS – $41.13m
The rebooting od this old time classic has been both looked at with reservations, but accepted by those who have seen it. The critics have been mostly favorable and audiences have embraced it, grading it out with an “A-” CinemaScore. It even drew some Golden Globes notice and coupled with an extended holiday schedule should find its way to a decent finish. There were more than half a dozen “Poppins” books, so it does seem surprising it took this long to bring another to the screen. The longterm result will determine if any other titles get tabbed by Disney.
3. BUMBLEBEE – $34.25m
THe attempt to rejuvenate the “Transformers” franchise by creating an origin story for this character has delivered something deeply unusual; the critics have loved it. Currently the film sports a staggering-to-consider 93% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. With two other comic book films to battle against the challenge is in front, but success should be there for Paramount.
4. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE – $25.61m
The heavily favored holdover has been doing strong, getting to $75 million already and looking at a long run in theaters. The new version of the Spidey storyline has been warmly accepted, so it serves as another force in theaters affecting all the new arrivals.
5. THE MULE – $16.62m
Clint Eastwood’s dramatic run is getting respect. Also directing he has earned some attention for his performance and will be counting on some possible nominations in the coming weeks to boost prospects on the film.
6. DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH – $12.85m
Refusing to give up much snowy ground it has been in theaters now for seven weeks and just crossed the $250 million landmark for Universal’s Illumination animation studios. It will soon pass “Despicable Me” to become the fifth highest title for that production arm.
7. SECOND ACT – $10.55m
This Jennifer Lopez rom-com was hoping to get some counter-programming attention. Modestly budgeted at below $20 million it was a calculated risk for the smaller distribution company STX Films. It will need a few weeks of solid returns before it begins to see profitability.
8. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET – $7.57m
It dropped over 1,000 screens here in its fifth week. By no means a failure for Disney (over $165 million so far) comparing it to “The Grinch” it now is showing on fewer screens and trailing that one by $100 million, despite being a fresher title.
9. HOLMES AND WATSON – $6.42m
The reteaming of Will Ferrell and John C. Riley in a comedic version of the famous detective team has been lukewarm in its Christmas debut. Critics have savaged the comedy, and audiences are not showing much love at all. Not exactly a magical union.
10. VICE – $4.78m
The flashy Adam McKay-directed version of the Dick Cheney story has seen some shaky prospects. It has been hailed as the most nominated title at the Golden Globes, however the film has since found its prospects getting damaged. Regarded by many right-of-center commenters as agitprop in referencing the George Bush administration, the real surprise has been how the film is being disregarded also by those on the left. Many critics have scorched the film, and even those who give it a positive rating do so mostly on the basis of Christian Bale’s performance in the title role. It opened on 2,378 screens so it was given a decent chance to play well, but this is not the return the studio hoped for.