Spider-Verse Wins Box Office

“Into the Spider-Verse” Swings into December Record

BOX OFFICE REPORT

December 14-16, 2018

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

TOP 5

Spider-Man:
Into the Spider-Verse 
$35.4 million
The Mule $17.2 million
The Grinch $11.5 million
Ralph Breaks the Internet  $9.5 million
Mortal Engines $7.5 million

It doesn't matter how many Spider-People there are; if the movie's good, audiences will still get caught in the web. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse debuted with an estimated $35.4 million. While that's lower than a lot of animated films this year, that's still the best opening for an animated movie in December. And with fantastic word-of-mouth and stellar reviews, it should continue to slowly but surely become one of 2018's biggest earners; though it will face stiff competition from three movies opening next week, all vying for family audiences.

The Mule opened in second place. It's Clint Eastwood's first starring role since 2012's Trouble with the Curve, which opened with $12.1 million. Aside from anomalous huge debuts for his star turn in Gran Torino, and his work behind the camera with American Sniper, this is about in line with his other films. It should hold well, given that it's aimed at an older audience. It will also be the one of the only movies just for adults for the rest of the year.

The Grinch continues to be the movie family audiences are flocking to. It dropped a mere 23 percent in its sixth weekend. It's nearing $250 million. If it can get past $260 million, it will pass Ron Howard's 2000 version, which was the biggest movie that year. (Yet would only be the sixth-biggest of 2018.) Ralph Breaks the Internet dropped a few levels to No. 4. It's now about $35 million below the original, which it won't have time to make up for. Three weeks at the top doesn't get what it used to. But at least it's not Mortal Engines. The $100 million production earned just $7.5 million, making it the year's biggest flop.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins' follow-up to the Best Picture-winning Moonlight. The film earned an average of $54,794 on its four screens.
  • Once Upon a Deadpool didn't steal all those PG-13 dollars. It earned just $3.8 million since opening Wednesday, good for 11th place. This is probably good news for people like me, who don't want Disney to try to integrate the anti-hero's R-rated antics into the MCU.
  • Vox Lux is singing a different tune. The controversial drama about the life of a pop singer played by Natalie Portman had a terrible expansion. Playing on 325 screens, the film averaged just $751.

Next week:

It's an all-out war for Christmas, with three wide releases competing for families, and one that will be left in the dust. Mary Poppins Returns gets a two-day head start, with Aquaman and Bumblebee opening Friday. It's going to be very hard to say what will come out on top, since any scenario is plausible. But I'll go with this: Aquaman, even after all the jokes, takes the top spot with around $70 million. That'll still be the lowest debut of any of the new DC Extended Universe properties, but a decent opening nonetheless. Then, Mary Poppins Returns will be in second with around $50 million, and Bumblebee will cruise into third with $40 million. Poor Welcome to Marwen will be lucky to earn $10 million.

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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.