BOX OFFICE REPORT
December 14-16, 2018
(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)
Into the Spider-Verse
|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.
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.