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The tentpole, directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa in the titular role, finished Tuesday with a North American total of $216.3 and $606.6 million overseas for $822.9 million globally. Aquaman has now passed up Wonder Woman ($821.8 million), and will soon overtake Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6 million) to become the highest-grossing DC pic since The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, not adjusted for inflation.
Aquaman was the big victor of the 2018 year-end holiday, pacing almost $100 million ahead of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns in North America.
Mary Poppins Returns, firmly entrenched at No. 2, is a solid double that hopes to emulate other musicals and have long legs. The Rob Marshall-directed musical earned another $8.6 million on Tuesday for a domestic cume of $114.5 million.
The combined performance of Aquaman, Mary Poppins and other Christmas entries helped ring out a record year at the domestic box office in high style, even without a Star Wars pic. Comscore hasn’t yet released its final number, but 2018 revenue is expected to come in at $11.8 million, up nearly 7 percent over last year and easily besting the previous record set in 2016 with $11.4 billion.
Paramount‘s critically acclaimed Transformers spinoff Bumblebee — facing tough competition from Aquaman — earned an estimated $7 million on New Year’s Day for a domestic total of $78.5 million. Travis Knight directed the origin film, which stars Hailee Steinfeld.
Holdovers Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, both of which opened in mid-December, continued to stay at No. 4 and No. 5 on Tuesday with $6.2 million and $4.1 million, for domestic totals of $114.5 million and $68.8 million, respectively.
Adam McKay’s Golden Globe-nominated Vice, starring Christian Bale as former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, held at No. 6 with a Tuesday tally of $7.8 million for a first-week gross of $22 million. The pic, opening nationwide Christmas Day, is counting on continued awards attention to boost its standing.
The Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy Second Act came in at No. 8, after Ralph Breaks the Internet, with $2.4 million for a lukewarm domestic cume of $26 million. STXfilms maintains the film will end up in the black, considering it cost a relatively modest $16 million to produce before marketing.
Second Act, opening Dec. 21, pulled ahead of Sony’s Christmas Day entry Holmes & Watson, which is fading fast after getting ravaged by critics and earning a D+ CinemaScore from audiences. The $42 million film, starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, earned $2.1 million Tuesday for a cume of $23.4 million.
Among high-profile awards contenders launching in select theaters Dec. 25, On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones as a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has grossed a promising $1.9 million from 33 theaters. Destroyer, starring Nicole Kidman, has grossed $136,000 from three theaters.
Jan. 2, 10:40 a.m. Updated with foreign grosses for Aquaman and Maruy Poppins Returns.
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