Escape Room Box Office Debut

“Aquaman” Soaks Up Another $30 Million in First Weekend of 2019


January 4-6, 2019

(estimates from


Aquaman $30.7 million
Escape Room $18.0 million
Mary Poppins Returns  $15.7 million
Into the Spider-Verse
$13.0 million
Bumblebee $12.7 million

In the first weekend of 2019, Aquaman continued to rake in all the money with his trident. (Is that how tridents work?) Taking in an estimated $30.7 million, DC Comics' underwater hero has now crossed $259 million. That means it's higher than Justice League domestically, and the biggest DC Extended Universe movie worldwide. It should also become the fifth movie of 2018 to cross $1 billion shortly. So maybe Warner Bros. isn't in as much trouble as they thought.

Escape Room took advantage of the lack of competition to overperform. Taking in $18 million, that more than doubles its budget. It will probably be out of theaters by February and make less than $50 million domestically, but that's another horror success, which we're bound to see more of this year, including Us in March and It: Chapter Two in September.

Mary Poppins Returns slipped to third, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fell to fourth. Neither will be able to get to $200 million, though don't count on that killing any sequels. Bumblebee still hasn't gotten to $100 million, the only Transformers movie to take this long to get there. Still, it's doing better internationally than the previous two films in the franchise.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Destroyer, the Nicole Kidman crime drama, added another three screens. That brought its average up to $18,335 at its six theaters.
  • While no one was looking, The Mule has become one of the sleeper hits of 2018. Clint Eastwood's drug runner drama has made $81 million in four weekends, and might even cross $100 million, joining the ranks of Sully and Gran Torino.
  • Welcome to Marwen took a huge wallop coming into the new year. Falling 70 percent, it's barely made a quarter of its budget.

Next Week:

Another weird January week, as the inspirational dramas A Dog's Way Home and The Upside take on the Keanu Reeves sci-fi flick Replicas. None of these will be able to top Aquaman in its fourth weekend. Both of the tear-jerkers should take in $15-18 million, while Replicas won't even be in the top five.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.