The weekend box office doldrums are hitting hard this year, paving the way for AQUAMAN to make some serious cash. With no legitimate contenders in weeks, I can’t help but think the film is doing a little better than it normally would if it were competing against a Star Wars film or maybe a new action movie from The Rock. But we’ll see how that plays out in AQUAMAN 2. For now, the underwater king is…errr…king at the box office as the only new contender this week was ESCAPE ROOM. Admittedly, I was completely dismissive of ESCAPE ROOM, but it managed to jump to the second spot and flirt with a $20 million opening. Granted, there were no horror-thrillers to compete with and I’m sure the PG-13 rating helped, but I’m still surprised.
Next week feels like a dumping ground for movies Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with. First up is the somewhat controversial THE UPSIDE starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. The film is actually a remake of the French film THE INTOUCHABLES. The film has been finished for a while, but it got destroyed by critics and so now it gets a mid-January release date. We also get the family-friendly A DOG’S WAY HOME and the Keanu Reeves Sci-fi film REPLICAS. I think AQUAMAN will continue at the top of the box office, but that’s assuming Kevin Hart’s fans don’t show up for THE UPSIDE. We haven’t gotten much marketing for the film and I’m not so sure his fans are ready for him to tackle a drama just yet. I love that Keanu Reeves takes a chance on obscure Sci-fi films, but I don’t think REPLICAS is another THE MATRIX. Note: the numbers below will be updated as they become final.
1. Aquaman $30.3m
2.Escape Room $17.3m
3. Mary Poppins Returns $15.1m
4. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse $12.7m
4. Bumblebee $12.6m
6. The Mule $8.8m
7. Vice $5.5m
8. Second Act $5m
9. Ralph Breaks the Internet $4.8m
10. Holmes and Watson $3.3m