As expected, Sony’s much-anticipated and glowingly reviewed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse landed at the top of the U.S. box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated $35.4 million for what is seen as the largest three-day animated opening of all time in December. Universal/Illumination’s Sing previously held this record with its $35.2 million opening two years ago. Awards season watchers are predicting that the movie has a good chance of beating Pixar’s Incredibles 2 for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in February.
Meanwhile, Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch landed at the No. 3 spot, with an estimated $11.58 million in its sixth week of release. The movie has grossed over $240 million in the U.S. and $133.4 million internationally. Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet was the number 4 movie, with an estimated $9.58 million (and a domestic cume of $155 million and a global total of $285 million). The movie will open in Japan and Hong Kong this coming weekend.
The big disaster of the weekend was Universal’s poorly reviewed Mortal Engines, which cost $100 million to produce. The movie had a weak $7.5 million opening in the U.S., and received a B minus CinemaScore grade from audiences and a 28% fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com review site. Overseas, the movie took in $11.5 million in 54 markets (with a total cume of $34.8 million).
Warner Bros.’ Aquaman continued its wave of popularity overseas, with an estimated $126.4 million weekend take and a $261.3 million cume. The DC Comics property made another $54.2 million in China this weekend for a cume totaling over $189 million.
This Wednesday, audiences will have the chance to enjoy Disney’s well-reviewed Mary Poppins Returns in 3,800 theaters. Then, on Friday Warner Bros. will open Aquaman in 4,100 theaters, Paramount will premiere Bumblebee (directed by Laika’s CEO Travis Knight) in 3,500 locations and Universal’s CG-heavy Welcome to Marwen will also debut in 1,900 theaters.