Following a fantastic holiday season with major, blockbuster releases such as BUMBLEBEE, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, and AQUAMAN, the first weekend of January has always served as a leftovers feast, so audiences can pick out what they missed at the cinema over the Christmas and New Years break. And outside of one major release in ESCAPE ROOM, it appears audiences flocked to James Wan's interpretation of AQUAMAN, marking the film's third weekend of triumph. It became the highest grossing DC Extended Universe film worldwide, topping the total grosses of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE with its current totals of 940 million. And with its pace, the film is expected to cross the coveted billion dollar mark in the coming weeks before the release of GLASS, which will crush and transform the box office truly into 2019.
In second place was the debut of the new horror PG-13 flick, ESCAPE ROOM. Receiving moderate reviews from critics and a below average reception from audiences with a "B" CinemaScore, the film opened far better than expected with its 18 million opening weekend. It debuted in 2,717 theaters, and with just a mere 9 million production budget, this debut should bring splendid smiles to distributor Sony Pictures' face. But in the coming weeks, it may fade out of sight due to the looming threat of M. Night Shamalayn's GLASS. ESCAPE ROOM is in theaters.
(This portion is taken from the previous published HBB Reviews article "Box Office Report (January 4-6): AQUAMAN Continues to Triumph, ESCAPE ROOM Opens Moderately," the full article of which can be found here).