9:09am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box Office: 'Aquaman' Hurtles Past $150M Overseas
Warner Bros.' year-end holiday tentpole Aquaman hurtled past the $150 million at the foreign box office on Thursday, a week before it debuts in North America on Dec. 21.
The bulk of its offshore gross — $135 million — comes from China, where it debuted a week ago to record numbers for the month of December, as well as boasting the best start ever for a DC superhero pic. And it's now earned more in China than the entire lifetime runs of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther, among other superhero titles (Marvel's Avengers movies remain the all-time champs).
On Wednesday and Thursday, Aquaman launched in additional key markets, including Russia and Brazil, both of which turned in $1.3 million. In Mexico, it swam to $1.4 million.
Aquaman is directed by James Wan and stars Jason Momoa in the titular role opposite Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren.
Currently, the superhero pic has a 73 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It will face plenty of competition at the Christmas box office, including from Mary Poppins Returns and Bumblebee, although so far it is tracking to pull in the most of any film in its first five days, or $100 million-plus between Dec. 21 and Dec. 25.
Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren co-star in the tentpole, which follows on the heels of Sony's Venom, which has earned a stunning $268 million in China to date for a global total north of $850 million.
Warners decided to unfurl Aquaman first in China, followed by additional foreign markets next week, in order to get a jump on a crowded pack of year-end holiday films, including Mary Poppins Returns and the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee.
Aquaman will open in North America on Dec. 21, the beginning of the lucrative year-end holiday corridor.