Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

December 29, 2018

Now that right there is the belt buckle of a true American.

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The holiday box office bonanza continues. Although there were no new wide releases yesterday, there are still plenty of options. Over the last ten days or so, seven films have seen wide release, along with expansions for a couple of smaller scale awards contenders.

Our number one film of the weekend will once again be Aquaman, though Mary Poppins Returns gets just a little bit more within shouting distance with each passing day. Aquaman earned $17.1 million on Friday, down 39 percent from its debut last Friday. Over the course of the three-day portion of the weekend (Friday-to-Sunday), it should come in with about $47 million. The DC film is already approaching the $700 million mark worldwide, so clearly people like Khal Drogo internationally as well as in North America!

Second place will go to Mary Poppins Returns, which is behaving similarly to The Greatest Showman last year. That film turned out to be incredibly leggy after people initially found it to be a bit of a disappointment during its opening days. Mary Poppins Returns earned $10.6 million on Friday, UP a massive 58 percent from last Friday. After earning less than $10 million per day for its first six days, Mary Poppins crossed that threshold on Christmas day and has never looked back since. The weekend should come in at $34.5 million or better. It's the kind of movie families can definitely agree on - it was my family's choice yesterday, in fact.

Despite bringing back the magic of the Transformers kids knew in the 1980s, Bumblebee is still struggling a little bit to connect with audiences. Fortunately, Christmas and the holidays surrounding it will help, but it still declined yesterday by 20 percent to earn $6.8 million. I think it's going to fall just short of $20 million this weekend, earning $19.4 million.

It's a few weekends old now, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was another big beneficiary of holiday inflation. Its Friday increase was 34 percent, and it might just be able to get past Bumblebee to take third place. I think it should get around $21 million, but it's definitely going to be close. It's a super great, super fun movie that deserves a wide audience.

The Mule is also a few weekends old, but Clint Eastwood is a popular choice around the holidays. It didn't have quite a Mary Poppins bump, but it did increase 44 percent over last Friday. $13.3 seems like a reasonable total here.


Vice debuted on Christmas Day, and it's one of the more divisive films of 2018. Some people LOVE it and have it on their best of lists, while others despise it and put it in worst movie ever territory. Either way, it earned $2.7 million yesterday and will likely finish the weekend with $7.4 million.

The other Christmas Day opener, Holmes and Watson, isn't divisive at all. Everyone hates it. One review I read described it as a stupider, more annoying Talladega Nights set in Victorian times. Ugh. It earned $2.7 million and should finish with about $7 million for the weekend. At least John C. Reilly still has Stan and Ollie and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Will Ferrell has... the upcoming Zeroville, directed by James Franco and based on a critically acclaimed book. Of course, that's a film without a distributor, so it doesn't seem super promising. I'd like to see Ferrell go back to roles like the ones he had in Stranger Than Fiction. I enjoy him a lot (Anchorman is a favorite), but his shtick can certainly wear thin quickly.

Hey, did you know that there's a new Jennifer Lopez movie that came out last week? No? You're not the only one, but it did earn $2.4 million yesterday, down just 2 percent from last Friday. Let's call it $7 million for the weekend, which makes it competitive with Holmes and Watson.



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