Fresh from its international success last weekend, Aquaman claimed the US top spot with an estimated $72 million for the three-day weekend. Currently, Aquaman is expected to hit $100 million (domestically) by the end of Christmas Day. The DCEU has been troubled endeavor from Warner Bros except for last year's Wonder Woman. Building on the fun of Paty Jenkins landmark blockbuster, James Wan has served up a bonkers blockbuster that might still have some problems, but by Posiodion's beard is it entertaining.
The rest of the world seems to agree, at the time of writing, Aquaman has taken more than $410 million internationally with more than half that coming from China. After only a week, Aquaman is the highest grossing DCEU title in China, more than doubling Justice League's $106 million total. That's right, Justice League was the highest grossing DCEU release in China until Aquaman.
There were four other wide releases this week, and on the surface, two of them look like disappointments. Disney's Mary Poppins Returns took $22 million for its first three days of the five day weekend. Being conservative with estimates, Mary Poppins will likely end up with a five-day weekend of $30-$35 million, which still doesn't sound like a number merits celebration. Much like Paramount's Bumblebee ($21 million for the three days), the opening weekend looks worryingly low versus their respective production budgets. However, both Bumblebee and Mary Poppins (now there's a spin-off) will play very well over the coming holiday weeks ahead.
A great example of the power of the holiday sleeper is with last year's Jumanji Welcome To The Jungle. Opening to a modest $36 million, the movie simply refused to leave the top ten for months and gave The Last Jedi a run for its money. By the time it left cinemas, Jumanji had made more than $400 million domestically. Bumblebee certainly plays to the same market, and Mary Poppins has tremendous multi-generational appeal. Ignore the reports citing both films as being flops, Holiday releases are more about longevity than the usual all-important opening weekend.
Elsewhere in the top ten, Jennifer Lopez return to romantic comedies yielded a respectable $6.5 million, and Robert Zemeckis' Welcome to Marwen came in ninth place with just $2.3 million. It is worth noting that of the five new release, Welcome to Marwen was playing on the fewest screens by a significant margin. However, it's a very slow start for a film that was widely tipped to be an Academy Award hopeful. Speaking of Oscar potential, Mary Queen of Scots added more screens as it starts its rollout and just made it into the top ten. Starring Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, and David Tennant, the acclaimed period drama is garnering awards buzz for its two leading ladies.
Finally, after a disastrous opening weekend, the fate of Mortal Engines has been decided by its even worse second frame. Produced and co-written by Peter Jackson, the franchise starter has made $12 million domestically after two weeks in cinemas. According to Deadline, the failure of Mortal Engines is likely to cost Universal more than $100 million in losses.