The first weekend of 2019 brings us a lot of the same movies we saw released over the holidays, but the first new release of the year does pretty well for itself.
by Tim Briody
January 6, 2019
Aquaman survives the post-holiday box office collapse with a still solid $30.7 million, dipping 41% from last weekend. It's now got $259.7 million after three weekends. It's looking like it's headed to $300 million domestically and yeah, it's approaching $1 billion worldwide. It's now the biggest film in the DC Extended Universe worldwide, now having passed Wonder Woman ($821.1 million) and Batman vs. Superman ($867.5 million). The domestic title is of course Wonder Woman ($421.5 million) and it would have to hang on for a few more weeks to get past BvS ($330.3 million) and Suicide Squad ($325.1 million) but that's a minor quibble. This is a big win for Warner Bros. and returns a lot of the goodwill lost from the poor reception of the other DC films. Now just get Zack Snyder away from everything.
Escape Room takes second place with a very good $18 million. A horror movie with a solid concept starring nobody and made on the cheap, the most surprising thing here is that Blumhouse has nothing to do with it. I think it will fall off rather quickly from here, but it only cost Sony $9 million, so they are likely very happy with this. As a bonus, I get to refer to it as the year's #1 movie, at least until Glass is released in a couple weeks time.
Mary Poppins Returns falls 44% to $15.7 million and $138.7 million in three weekends. The drop there means we won't see another Greatest Showman type performance, but the total still shows a decent recovery after what was potentially a worrisome start for Disney. It's looking at $175 million total, with the potential more if it manages to pick up some Golden Globe wins and/or Oscar nominations.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse continues to swing along, adding $13 million (down 31%) and giving it $133.8 million in four weekends. Hopefully Sony has lined up some sequels and/or spinoffs (most likely a Spider-Gwen movie, but I'd absolutely be there for Spider-Ham) because this is a strong outing and something to build on with their piece of Marvel.
Bumblebee approaches the promised land with $12.7 million (down 39%) and $97.1 million in three weekends. It's yet to approach its budget domestically (thanks, Michael Bay), but add in worldwide and it's doing just fine (mostly because it opened in China this weekend), with nearly another $200 million in the bank, per our friends at Exhibitor Relations.
The Mule is another big winner from the holiday season and continues to hold well, down just 26% to $9 million and giving it $81.1 million in four weekends. Clint Eastwood can still draw, even in his 80s.
Vice, the only likely Best Picture nominee in the top ten, drops 25% to $5.8 million in its second weekend in theaters. Since opening Christmas Day, it's got a decent total of $29.7 million. Even if shut out of the big prize, it's looking at a couple of acting nominations locked up in Christian Bale and Amy Adams.
Jennifer Lopez's Second Act earns $4.9 million (down 33%) for the weekend and has a total of $32.9 million in three weekends. Made for just $16 million, it's doubled that total in theaters thanks to the power of the holiday box office season, when typically its $6.4 million opening weekend would have meant a quick trip out of theaters.
Ralph Breaks the Internet continues to hold on, adding $4.6 million this weekend and giving it $187.1 million after seven weekends in theaters. It's so close to Wreck-It Ralph's total, and I have a feeling Disney is going to brute force the thing to $200 million, a total that didn't seem too likely before the holidays. It doesn't have far to go; it just remains to be seen if it can hang on to its screens.
Christmas Day disappointment Holmes & Watson wraps up the top ten with $3.4 million, a 54% hit from last weekend. Since its opening on Christmas, it's got $28.4 million. The potential for so much more was there, but it turns out audiences want their comedies to be, you know, funny. It's going to fall short of the reported $42 million budget.
The top 12 films this weekend earned $122.6 million, down from last year's $148.5 million, when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle toppled Star Wars: The Last Jedi with a weekend of $36 million, while Insidious: The Last Key opened to an impressive $29 million.
Next weekend brings a typical January mixed bag, with A Dog's Way Home, comedy The Upside and Keanu Reeves in Replicas.