The first Box Office weekend of the year pulled no major rabbits out the proverbial hat, although sole new release ‘Escape Room’ did exceed expectations with its $18m opening. The Sony horror, directed by ‘Insidious 4’s Adam Lobitel, sees a group of strangers (including Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, and Deborah Ann Woll) attempt to leave a deadly escape room.

It’s a simple premise, that’s uniqueness appealed to cinemagoers willing to overlook the lack of an A-list cast and its so-so critical reception.

Specifically, the film sits on a 52% rating on the Tomatometer as well as a B on Cinemascore; two scores that, for the genre, aren’t bad considering the lows we’ve come to expect over the years – remember ‘The Forest’? While that started brightly on $12.7m but couldn’t build (ending on $26.6m domestically), ‘Escape Room’ has a strong chance of finishing above the $40m mark. For a film produced for only $9m, Sony will be very, very pleased.

Still, ‘Escape Room’ lagged behind the weekend winner ‘Aquaman’ as expected, with the latter earning $31m for a running domestic total of $260m. Although it won’t catch ‘Wonder Woman’s $412.6m, ‘Batman v Superman’s $330.4m remains in sight for the film rapidly becoming one of 2018’s biggest shocks.

This is all mainly helped by its international gross, of course, where ‘Aquaman’ now officially stands as the biggest DC movie both outside of the States and worldwide. Its overseas running total of $681m beats the likes of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ ($636.8m) to stand as the biggest in the DC universe, and its $943m global gross not only swallows those in the DCEU, but gazumps all but 6 movies in the MCU. Franchise in crisis? What crisis?

Infact, ‘Aquaman’s now swam its way into WB history, becoming the legendary studio’s 10th biggest film of all time globally, a little behind ‘The Hobbit 3 & 2’ in 9th and 8th place. Reaching ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2’s $1.34bn for the top spot may be a stretch, but you can’t count Mamoa and co out; who even thought ‘Aquaman’ would even hit $800m after the ‘Justice League’ disaster?

The film added $56.2m internationally this weekend, but was actually beaten by ‘Bumblebee’s $82.7m overseas gross. Helped by a $59.4m opening in China (and a $12.8m weekend in the U.S.), ‘Bumblebee’ now stands at a respectable $289.1m total worldwide, with enough left in the tank for the film to near a $500m finish.

Last weekend’s entrants ‘Vice’ and ‘Holmes and Watson’ endured stark differences in their weekends, with the former holding well to earn $5.7m to sit just shy of $30m domestically. Although unlikely to break-even, let alone make profit, the Annapurna production is seemingly squeezing as much out of an empty-ish timeframe in terms of competition, with the film likely to finish in the $50m region if all goes to plan.

Holmes and Watson’, on the other hand, continues to go from bad to worse. After actually seeing the bigger Christmas day opening when compared to ‘Vice’, the comedy has dropped like a stone and barely remained in the top ten, earning just $3.3m for a $28.3m running total.

‘Escape Room’ surprised us all with its $18m start, but it was ‘Aquaman’ that really stole the show. Where do you see this film finishing? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.