This weekend was the coming together of the entire holiday 2018 season. The three primary releases of the month, AQUAMAN, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, and BUMBLEBEE, all went against each other at the box office, with both successful and mixed results. And yet, despite some disappointing results namely from Paramount's well-received BUMBLEBEE, the weekend didn't fall into a mess of financial crashes, with AQUAMAN spearheading the charge and making waves on its own with a 67 million debut.
Ranked first for the weekend was the brand-new installment to the DCEU, starring Jason Momoa in AQUAMAN. Debuting in 4,125 theaters, the film had an opening weekend of $67.4 million. Despite being the lowest debut in the entire franchise, the film is already on track to pass JUSTICE LEAGUE with its worldwide numbers. After opening in several countries a week ago, the film has grossed an outstanding 482 million worldwide. In relation to its estimated 200 million production budget, it's a fantastic kickoff to what will undoubtedly be the financial champion of this holiday sequence. And with moderate reviews and audience reception, specifically an "A-" from CinemaScore, the film should have the legs and holds to help it cross the 200 million mark domestically. AQUAMAN is playing in theaters now and you can read our review for the film here.
In second was Disney's highly anticipated sequel to their esteemed classic, MARY POPPINS RETURNS. Opening to a soft tune of 22.2 million, on paper, the film may have been classified as underperforming. However, outside of opening just as industry expectations expected, the film is expected to hold well throughout the rest of the somewhat quiet season, similar to how JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN did. In addition, the film technically opened on Wednesday, December 19th and since then has grossed 51 million worldwide. MARY POPPINS RETURNS is playing in theaters now and you can read our review for the film here.
Third place goes to Paramount's well-received BUMBLEBEE, directed by Travis Knight. Despite having an astounding 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, easily the highest for the franchise, BUMBLEBEE simply didn't reach a massive audience due to its 21 million opening weekend. And in relation to its competitors AQUAMAN and MARY POPPINS RETURNS, it reaches the same audience as AQUAMAN and also isn't the clear holdover that RETURNS will be. It's stuck in a loop between its two other competitors where the revenue prospects may be slim. However, its strong critical and audience reception just might be able to save it. BUMBLEBEE is playing in theaters now.
This report marks the last for 2018 as HBB Reviews will be on a permanent holiday break until January 1st. Next weekend will unfortunately not be covered. Thanks for taking the time to read these box office reports and everyone at HBB Reviews wishes you a happy holiday!