Box Office: December 14-16

With some good and warranted hype behind it, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse took the top spot at the box office this weekend with a $35.4 million debut. That’s the highest oepning for an animated film in December and the film is likely going to have some legs with an “A+” CinemaScore attached to it. While it is leaning male at 63% of the opening weekend audience, it’s skewing younger with 59% under twenty-five. The film also did another $21 million in 41 markets overseas to give it a solid enough start with eleven more markets opening up next weekend.

This weekend also saw the debut of the latest Clint Eastwood film with The Mule which landed at $17.2 million on its $50 million budget but with just 2,600 locations. It’s male and older but got an “A-” CinemaScore that will easily carry it into the new year.

Mortal Engines was the third new film to debut this weekend and it is pretty much disastrous here with a $7.5 million take on its $100 million budget, at least with North American audiences. It went into 3,100 locations and earned a “B-” CinemaScore while playing more male and older, which isn’t great for a young adult intended audience and source material. The film opened previously overseas and added more markets this weekend where it’s now done just under $35 million there for a $42 million worldwide take.

The Favourite expanded this weekend with 348 more locations and that gave it a 70% increase with a $2.5 million take. That’s not enough to get into the top ten on the chart but the film is set to expand to almost 800 locations next weekend. Similarly, Focus Features is expanding Mary Queen of Scots to 700 screens next weekend.

Aquaman is the big piece to watch next weekend with its debut but it got all kinds of attention last weekend with its $94 million Chinese debut that had it doing better than entire runs of other DC films there. It added another $54 million there this weekend plus combined with last weekend and weekday showings it’s at $189 million. With several other markets rolling out the overseas box office is at $261 million so far.

In addition to Aquaman opening in 4,100+ screens next weekend, Paramount is bringing out Bumblebee in 3,500 screens while STX has Second Actin 2,600 screens. Universal has slotted 1,900 for Welcome to Marwen. That’s all happening next Friday while on Wednesday we get Disney bringing out Mary Poppins Returns on 3,800 screens and Warner has the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old on 1,142 screens.