Last week I didn’t even bother to do a Box Office Breakdown because, well, there was very little to report. Same winners over another slow weekend. However, that’s not the case this weekend, the first of two huge release weekends in December as the Christmas holiday and awards season approach. With the year coming to a close studio are churning out some of the their most highly anticipated works in hopes to either breaking bank or earning awards buzz. Let’s take a look and see which of these new films gave us our new number one. This is the Box Office Breakdown for Dec. 14-16, 2018.
It was Sony Animation that took home to gold over the weekend with by far their most respected work to date, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. The fourth cinematic incarnation of the “Spider-Man” franchise, this film follows the world’s first African American Spider-Man Miles Morales and his origin story as several other Spider-People enter his world. Despite a rocky year of anticipation, especially due to Spider-Man fatigue setting in, Sony’s new take on the character earned a $35.4 million opening weekend domestically becoming the best debut for an animated feature in December topping “Sing” from 2016. Both critics and fans loved this movie with near universal praise on aggregate websites from viewers and industry experts. I too loved the film and you can read my review from this past weekend by clicking here. “Into the Spider-Verse” also earned Sony Animation $21 million overseas and thanks to its recent Golden Globe nomination may see a lot of staying power as award season kicks into high gear.
Warner Bros. continued to have a strong 2018 with their new offering “The Mule”. I have not had a chance to see this Clint Eastwood film yet for myself, but okay reviews and high praise for Eastwood’s performance helped the film take second over the weekend with a $17.2 million domestic total. “The Grinch” held on to the third position with a great holdover total of $11.58 million domestically in its sixth weekend while Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” finally relinquished the number one spot and fell to fourth. The weekend’s other new major release, “Mortal Engines”, bombed at the box office with poor reviews and only mild fan reaction to the tune of $7.5 million. Designed as a franchise starter by “Lord of the Rings” great Peter Jackson it looks like this series, based on a YA novel, is dead on arrival especially with a $100 million budget to recuperate if the rest of the series is to be filmed. “Creed II”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Instant Family”, “Fantastic Beasts 2”, and “Green Book” all closed out the top ten in that order.
Fox saw a fun entry just outside the top ten over the weekend however with not really a new film, but a new take on one of their biggest hits of 2018. The PG-13 version of “Deadpool 2”, “Once Upon a Deadpool”, earned $2.6 million to add on to “Deadpool 2’s” initial gross with parts of the proceeds going to a cancer benefit. Fox also saw success with it’s awards season highlight “The Favourite” which held on to it’s twelfth place position from last week after expanding to 441 locations. The film is expected to enter even more theaters this weekend so look for my review of this potential award season “favorite” coming soon.
This weekend is going to be CRAZY!!!! Numerous new releases are hitting the big screen just in time for the holiday but the biggest release of them all will no doubt be “Aquaman” which is making huge waves, no pun intended, overseas and will debut in American cinema’s later this week. It will have to fight off Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” though as well as Universal’s “Welcome to Marwen” and Paramount’s new highly praised “Transformers” movie “Bumblebee”. You can actually read my review of “Bumblebee” from a preview showing earlier this month here, but you’ll have to wait and see my takes on the rest of these movies coming soon.