Sunday December 30, 2018
Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Swims in International Waters
Vinny Chase, eat your heart out.
“Aquaman” dropped only 23.5% this weekend to add $51.5 million to its coffers and top box office charts for the second weekend in a row, but that ain't no great shakes. The weekend before Xmas is a busy time, the weekend after is when we relax and go to the movies, so box office tends not to drop much. Last year, for example, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” dropped just 26%. More to the point, “Jumanji” added 38% on its way to $404 domestic and $962 worldwide.
Nothing like that this year. Yes, most movies added box office (“Mary Poppins Returns,” “Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Mule”) but there are no “Jumanji”s in the mix.
The real story about “Aquaman”'s box office is international, where it's already grossed $566 million (vs. $188 domestic). Almost half the foreign total is in China ($232). Not sure how Warners marketed it abroad but it's working.
Put it this way: Of the six films in the DC Extended Universe, “Aquaman” is still sixth domestically: $40 mil behind “Justice League” and $110 behind “Man of Steel.” But worldwide? It's third with a bullet: It's already grossed $748 vs. $821 for “Wonder Woman” and $873 for “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It‘ll catch both. It will reign.
The worst decision Warners ever made was handing over its lucrative universe to Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch”). Damage has been done but clouds are clearing. At the same time, it’s not like we need to make movie theaters safe for superheroes again. 2018 is winding down and the three biggest domestic flicks are all supers: “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Incredibles 2.” Top 10 also includes “Deadpool 2,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Venom.” “Aquaman” will join this team ... which beats the last team he joined.