‘Aquaman’ Retains The Throne To Crown A Record Box Office Year: Box Office Report
2018 was a record-breaking Box Office year, with over $11.8bn pumped into cinemas across the U.S. It was fitting, then, that the last weekend of the year saw a superhero movie leave the rest in its wake, as Warner Bros’ ‘Aquaman’ brought in a whopping $52.1m for a $189.4m running total.
It’s a weekend gross that continued a trend; its Christmas total of $22.1m was the 6th biggest of all time for the day. Now, James Wan’s first venture into the troubled world of the DCEU seems to have breathed new life into the struggling franchise, as the film’s global gross of $751.8m has already out-earned ‘Justice League’, ‘Man of Steel’, and ‘Suicide Squad’.
‘Wonder Woman’s $821.8m will be passed in a matter of days, as Jason Momoa and co benefit from WB’s staggered release, which saw the film hit cinemas internationally first, giving it time to breathe among the barren post-Thanksgiving period.
The result? A DCEU-record $560m (and counting) overseas gross, including a WB’s best $260.4m from China. It added $78.4m from 78 international countries this weekend, and doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. The race to $1bn is surely on, and would make ‘Aquaman’ the first non-Batman DC film to hit that mark.
The films in 2nd and 3rd place also mirrored last weekend’s results, as ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and ‘Bumblebee’ added $28.4m and $20.9m apiece. Slowly but surely, both Disney and Paramount are breathing a little easier as the likelihood of both studios holding sleeper hits in the two films increases.
‘Poppins’ is more ‘Les Miserables’ than ‘The Greatest Showman’ however, with Emily Blunt-fronted musical just $0.1m behind ‘Les Mis’ at the same point in its run, with $99.3m. ‘Les Mis’ ending on $148.8m domestically may be acceptable for a film on a $61m budget, but Disney spent north of double that, so will be hoping to finish closer to $200m. Not impossible, but yet again warrants an inquiry into the studio’s spending.
‘Bumblebee’ meanwhile continues to buzz along, earning a running total of $67.2m. Still in ‘Aquaman’s shadow, it dropped just 4% this weekend as it now starts to benefit from glowing critical and audience reviews.
Of course, like with all ‘Transformers’ films, the international gross is just as (if not, more) important, as never has a ‘Transformers’ film seen a domestic split reach 50% (‘Bumblebee’s currently sits at 43%). ‘Bumblebee’ has already earned $90m overseas, without the likes of China (where it lands on Friday) where big things are expected.
Onto this weekend’s new releases, and as predicted it was disappointment for Sony and Annapurna Pictures. The former’s comedy ‘Holmes and Watson’ couldn’t muster a laugh with a $7.4m opening, although being released on Christmas has given it a comfier landing pad of $19.8m. Regardless, this marks Will Ferrell’s lowest opening in 18 years since ‘The Ladies Man’, and Reilly’s lowest in 9 (‘Cirque du Freak’).
Where will it finish? Well, all involved will hope it comfortably beats a recent Ferrell comedy ‘The House’ (2017), which opened to $8.7m on its way to a $25.6m domestic finish. It’ll need to, considering its $42m budget, but judging by its 9% on the Tomatometer however, we won’t hold our breath.
If the $42m budget for ‘Holmes and Watson’ seems inflated, then look away now. Annapurna’s biographical comedy/drama ‘Vice’, starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carrell, and Sam Rockwell, cost an eye-watering $60m to produce but only opened to $7.8m (running total of $17.7m).
Fun fact: it’s already the studio’s biggest domestic hit, beating ‘Sorry to Bother You’ ($17.5m) and ‘Detroit’ ($16.8m) in just 6 days. Adam McKay’s follow up to ‘The Big Short’ (in genre only) will likely kick the bucket at the $40m-$50m region, leaving ‘The Big Short’s $70.3m total as the better of the two.
2018 draws to a close this weekend, but how did our films do? Was it a fitting way to end the year? Also, check out JUMPCUT’s Box Office Awards for 2018, coming soon..