Hello everyone and welcome to the first Box Office Breakdown of 2019! After putting this feature on hold for a few weeks to allow the holidays to settle and focus on my year end countdowns my weekly look at the box office results continues with a look at the first weekend of year. With several major holdovers who have dominated the market and a new horror film getting some pretty decent reactions from critics and fans let’s see who the first winner of the year is. This is the Box Office Breakdown for Jan 4-6, 2019.
As expected, “Aquaman” ruled for a third straight week and shows no sign of slowing down. The latest entry in the DC Extended Universe, “Aquaman” has ridden a wave (pun intended) of great word of mouth and is continuing to show staying power despite a crowded box office filled with alternative options. With $30.7 million domestically and another $56.2 million internationally bringing its global cume to $940 million, the third highest profiting DC Comics adaptation to date worldwide behind only “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Dark Night” which each grossed over a billion dollars. Domestically though the film is still a ways away from topping “Wonder Woman’s” $412 million gross. “Aquaman” is expected to top “The Dark Knight” within the next month if it stays on pace with only Japan still yet to release the film. “Aquaman” ishould rule for another weekend which would be the first DCEU movie to hold the top box office spot for four consecutive weeks. You can read my review of “Aquaman” here.
Coming in second was the only major newcomer of the weekend, “Escape Room”. The horror thriller received surprisingly positive, if mixed, reviews and outperformed expectations bringing in $18 million to double its production budget of $9 million in a single weekend. This is not a surprise for a horror film, especially one released on a slow weekend, as such movies usually take advantage of smaller budgets making it easier to make money. “Escape Room” looks to continue to take advantage of slow weekends still to come and decent word of mouth to continue its success. You can read my review of the film here. The rest of the top five were strong holdovers. “Mary Poppins Returns” dipped earned another $15.77 million domestically while “Bumblebee” followed up a mere 5% drop in its sophomore weekend by going head-to-head with Sony’s newly christened Golden Globe winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. Just $235,000 separated the two with “Into the Spider-Verse” winning out with $13 million to “Bumblebee’s” $12.77 million. “Bumblebee” however earned more money internationally. “The Mule”, “Vice”, “Second Act”, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Holmes and Watson” rounded out the top ten.
“Aquaman” is expected to reign supreme for a fourth weekend, but there will be competition for the rest of the top ten. Annapurna is planning to expand “If Beale Street Could Talk” after a $1.8 million weekend in limited release while Focus will expand its Ruth Beder Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex” into over 2,000 theaters. On wider release, Sony will debut “A Dog’s Way Home”, the second movie adaptation from the bibliography of author W. Bruce Cameron after “A Dog’s Purpose” which generated controversy over a leaked video of supposed animal abuse on set in 2017. This film though goes in with no controversy and little competition to slow it down. The Keanu Reaves sci-fi thriller (Replicas) will also premiere along with “The Intouchables” and the new Kevin Hart and Brian Cranston led comedy “The Upside”. Look for reviews of several of these films coming soon to Cinema Spotlight.