Weekend Actuals: ‘Spider-Man’ Swings to $35.3M Debut; ‘The Mule’ Smuggles $17.5M in 2nd; ‘Mortal Engines’ Underperforms w/ $7.5M

'Aquaman' is the top-grossing title globally with $131.3 million

Monday Update: The incredibly crowded second half of December began this weekend with four new wide releases, led by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with $35.3M.

Sony’s animated superhero movie opened about in line with expectations, helped by very strong reviews. It debuted far below any of the six standalone live action Spider-Man installments, although it wasn’t expected to come anywhere close.

Warner Bros.’ drama The Mule began in second place with $17.5M, about in line with projections.

Universal’s animated Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch took third place with a mild -22% decline to $11.7M. With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, the timely movie had the best hold of any holdover movie in this weekend’s top 10.

The box office leader for the past three consecutive weekends, Disney’s animated sequel Ralph Breaks the Internetfell to fourth place with a -43% drop to $9.2M.

Universal’s sci-fi Mortal Engines, which already had very low box office projections relative to its high budget, came in below even those low expectations with a $7.5M start in fifth place.

Once Upon a DeadpoolFox’s PG-13 cut of this summer’s originally R-rated Deadpool 2, opened outside the top 10 entirely with an 11th place start of $2.6M.

Annapurna’s awards contender If Beale Street Could Talk opened on four screens and captured the weekend’s best per-theater average with $56,119.

Globally, the biggest movie yet again was Warner Bros.’ superhero movie Aquaman, which is posting massive numbers overseas before its domestic release next Friday. The film earned $131.3M this weekend for an overseas total of $266.4M so far.

Comparisons

Total box office this weekend was $115.5M.

That’s +35.3% above last weekend but -58.5% below this same weekend last year, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened with one of the top three biggest opening weekends of all time at $220.0M.

Year-to-date box office stands at $11.12B. That’s +9.0% ahead of this same date last year, down from +10.3% after last weekend.

Demographics

With the caveat that audience demographics for Mortal Engines were not available as of this writing…

The most male audience in this weekend’s top 10 was The Mule at 60.1%, while the most female audience was Instant Family at 63.8%.

The most under-25 audience in this weekend’s top 10 was Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch at 54.6%, while the most over-25 audience was Green Book at 93.6%.

A full demographic breakdown of the top 30 movies this weekend, courtesy of BoxofficeProfile by Vertigo, is below:

Our full table of weekend actuals is below, followed by our Sunday update which featured fuller analysis.


Monday’s Weekend Actuals (Domestic)

FRI, DEC. 14 – SUN, DEC. 16

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $35,363,376 3,813 $9,274 $35,363,376 1 Sony / Columbia
2 The Mule $17,509,431 2,588 $6,766 $17,509,431 1 Warner Bros.
3 Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch $11,753,665 -22% 3,759 -82 $3,127 $239,463,375 6 Universal
4 Ralph Breaks the Internet $9,274,018 -43% 3,575 -220 $2,594 $154,149,896 4 Disney
5 Mortal Engines $7,559,850 3,103 $2,436 $7,559,850 1 Universal
6 Creed II $5,385,914 -46% 3,107 -645 $1,733 $104,870,060 4 MGM / Warner Bros
7 Bohemian Rhapsody $4,314,179 -30% 2,213 -740 $1,949 $180,612,379 7 20th Century Fox
8 Instant Family $3,790,287 -34% 2,860 -566 $1,325 $60,288,341 5 Paramount Pictures
9 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald $3,789,839 -46% 2,606 -845 $1,454 $151,793,249 5 Warner Bros.
10 Green Book $2,774,630 -29% 1,215 34 $2,284 $24,654,996 5 Universal Pictures
11 Once Upon A Deadpool $2,683,200 1,566 $1,713 $3,967,120 1 20th Century Fox
12 Widows $1,269,201 -60% 1,228 -933 $1,034 $40,884,857 5 20th Century Fox
13 Robin Hood $1,216,031 -66% 1,720 -853 $707 $29,799,864 4 Lionsgate / Summit
14 The Possession of Hannah Grace $1,184,814 -63% 1,307 -991 $907 $13,909,719 3 Sony / Screen Gems

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The Favourite $2,605,484 73% 441 350 $5,908 $6,775,387 4 Fox Searchlight
2 A Star is Born $1,040,024 -58% 842 -789 $1,235 $199,178,098 11 Warner Bros.
3 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms $566,468 -49% 644 -526 $880 $53,668,267 7 Walt Disney Pictures
4 Vox Lux $243,694 57% 325 319 $750 $432,905 2 Neon
5 At Eternity’s Gate $191,642 -40% 178 4 $1,077 $1,450,002 5 CBS Films
6 Can You Ever Forgive Me? $135,344 -47% 166 -99 $815 $7,260,204 9 Fox Searchlight
7 Venom $134,288 -56% 209 -179 $643 $212,969,264 11 Sony / Columbia
8 Smallfoot $118,930 -31% 218 -20 $546 $82,579,684 12 Warner Bros.
9 Boy Erased $87,475 -79% 173 -449 $506 $6,646,972 7 Focus Features
10 Nobody’s Fool $85,755 -67% 168 -200 $510 $31,668,693 7 Paramount
11 Overlord $65,116 -74% 173 -218 $376 $21,665,871 6 Paramount Pictures
12 The Hate U Give $64,508 -53% 130 -105 $496 $29,563,368 11 20th Century Fox
13 The Old Man & The Gun $36,347 -58% 100 -36 $363 $11,134,906 12 Fox Searchlight

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Mary Queen of Scots $699,745 259% 66 62 $10,602 $962,580 2 Focus Features
2 If Beale Street Could Talk $224,476 4 $56,119 $224,476 1 Annapurna
3 Kedarnath $181,108 -56% 99 -15 $1,829 $744,188 2 PackYourBag Films
4 Ben Is Back $141,680 75% 29 25 $4,886 $250,612 2 Roadside Attractions / LD Entertainment / Lionsgate
5 Shoplifters $113,386 6% 43 7 $2,637 $565,118 4 Magnolia Pictures
6 Night School $52,545 -35% 97 -38 $542 $77,188,275 12 Universal
7 Beautiful Boy $34,869 -66% 88 -108 $396 $7,522,075 10 Amazon
8 The House That Jack Built $34,091 32 $1,065 $200,758 3 IFC Films
9 The House With A Clock In Its Walls $31,500 -28% 96 -18 $328 $68,475,090 13 Universal Pictures
10 First Man $30,500 -48% 72 -49 $424 $44,833,535 10 Universal
11 Maria By Callas $30,174 -71% 62 -87 $487 $1,141,365 7 Sony Pictures Classics
12 Capernaum $24,988 3 $8,329 $24,988 1 Sony Pictures Classics
13 A Cool Fish $24,779 -56% 13 -21 $1,906 $516,472 5 China Lion Film
14 Halloween (2018) $22,035 -56% 68 -70 $324 $159,300,595 9 Universal Pictures
15 The Wife $21,632 -90% 67 -354 $323 $8,152,628 18 Sony Pictures Classics
16 The Girl in the Spider’s Web $20,417 -61% 83 -69 $246 $14,828,555 6 Sony / Columbia
17 Border $17,640 -67% 31 -43 $569 $725,244 8 Neon
18 A Private War $15,056 -37% 50 15 $301 $1,598,931 7 Aviron Pictures
19 Crazy Rich Asians $13,870 -38% 48 -30 $289 $174,008,431 18 Warner Bros.
20 Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel $12,678 1 $12,678 $12,678 1 Menemsha Films
21 Suspiria $9,922 -58% 19 -14 $522 $2,474,044 8 Amazon Studios
22 Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki $9,899 4 $2,475 $69,270 1 GKIDS
23 The Front Runner $9,887 -91% 53 -356 $187 $1,994,179 6 Sony / Columbia
24 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween $9,740 -53% 40 -90 $244 $46,697,321 10 Sony
25 Wildlife $6,170 -73% 17 -33 $363 $993,014 9 IFC Films
26 Mid90s $5,651 -62% 16 -2 $353 $7,356,627 9 A24
27 Becoming Astrid $5,233 -48% 13 -2 $403 $66,126 4 Music Box Films
28 The Quake $3,256 7 $465 $3,256 1 Magnolia Pictures
29 Wings of Desire (2018 re-release) $3,219 53% 2 1 $1,610 $109,353 9 Janus Films
30 The Sisters Brothers $2,950 11% 11 2 $268 $3,140,267 13 Annapurna Pictures
31 The Charmer $2,922 -29% 1 0 $2,922 $10,992 2 Film Movement
32 Mirai $2,614 -99% 6 -736 $436 $682,617 3 GKIDS
33 Liyana $2,242 -6% 4 3 $561 $23,090 10 Abramorama
34 Tea With the Dames $2,064 -29% 7 -2 $295 $858,897 13 IFC Films
35 Swimming with Men $2,034 -80% 7 -24 $291 $19,616 2 IFC Films
36 Sicilian Ghost Story $1,718 75% 1 0 $1,718 $9,602 3 Strand Releasing
37 The Tag Along: The Devil Fish $1,662 -85% 1 -7 $1,662 $18,870 2 China Lion Film
38 No Date, No Signature $1,573 1 $1,573 $35,450 20 Distrib Films US
39 Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes $1,362 -93% 5 -10 $272 $33,382 2 Magnolia Pictures
40 Detour (2018 re-release) $1,150 14% 1 0 $1,150 $12,185 3 Janus Films
41 Gosnell: The Trial Of America’s Biggest Serial Killer $936 -79% 3 -8 $312 $3,679,653 10 GVN Releasing
42 Tyrel $857 -86% 3 -2 $286 $8,968 2 Magnolia Pictures
43 The Happy Prince $686 -84% 2 -6 $343 $464,495 10 Sony Pictures Classics
44 Weed the People $681 41% 1 0 $681 $13,910 8 Mangurama
45 Senso $494 32% 1 -1 $494 $26,700 8 Rialto Pictures
46 Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. $452 1 $452 $230,600 12 Abramorama
47 Good Manners (As Boas Maneiras) $252 1 $252 $31,177 21 Distrib Films Us
48 Narcissister Organ Player $174 -48% 3 1 $58 $14,319 6 Film Movement
49 1945 $164 156% 1 0 $164 $1,005,719 59 Menemsha Films

Sunday Update: After two weeks with no major new movie releases, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse injected some life into the theatrical marketplace this weekend with a strong opening of $35.4 million, which ranks as the highest opening ever for an animated film in the month of December. Additionally, Clint Eastwood’s latest film The Mule posted a solid debut, The Mortal Engines floundered, and Once Upon a Deadpool – the PG-13 re-release of Deadpool 2 with all-new footage – debuted just outside the Top 10 in 1,566 locations.

Marking the seventh time the Marvel webslinger has topped the box office charts, Into the Spider-Verse was buoyed by stellar reviews (its Rotten Tomatoes score is 97%), its appeal to a wide cross-section of the moviegoing audience, and the character’s enduring popularity. As both the first animated Spider-Man film to be released in theaters and the first to debut outside the summer moviegoing season, it was unclear how the film would stack up to previous live-action installments of the Sony franchise. And while the film’s $35.4 million debut is certainly lower than any of its franchise predecessors (the previous low was 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which opened to $62 million), with a perfect “A+” Cinemascore, Spider-Verse‘s long-term prospects look bright.

Into the Spider-Verse certainly benefitted from being the first tentpole release to hit theaters since Thanksgiving weekend, but with hype building steadily prior to its release (it received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature) and the trailer regularly finishing among the top three titles in terms of audience interest in our Trailer Impact surveys, the film had all the makings of a late-in-the-year hit regardless. It also didn’t hurt that its main animated competitors in the marketplace – namely Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and Ralph Breaks the Internet – are past the prime of their respective runs (though both continue to perform strongly). With younger audiences close to taking off school for winter break and word-of-mouth likely to be strong, it’s reasonable to expect that the film will continue performing well through the end of the year and beyond, even with the highly-anticipated Warner Bros./DC superhero film Aquaman primed to surface next weekend.

Debuting in second place with $17.2 million was The Mule, the first directing and starring vehicle for Clint Eastwood since 2008’s Gran Torino (as well as his first starring vehicle since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve, directed by Robert Lorenz). Unlike Torino, which went through four weeks of limited release in mid-December before debuting wide in January, The Mule opened wide right out of the gate in 2,588 theaters. This opening is an improvement on Curve, which debuted to $12.1 million and finished with a disappointing $35.7 million in North America. As a director, The Mule represents Eastwood’s fifth-best wide opening ever (not adjusting for inflation) after American Sniper ($89.2 million), Sully ($35 million), Gran Torino ($29.4 million), and Space Cowboys ($18 million).

While reviews for The Mule have been mixed (the film is barely “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes with 63%), audiences seem to like it much better, with the film pulling in an “A-” CinemaScore from opening day audiences and a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score metric. Even in his late 80s, Eastwood continues to hold strong appeal for wide audiences who gravitate to his brand of grizzled, tough-as-nails protagonists, and The Mule appears to be no exception. As an added bonus, there are few titles currently in release that cater to the 50-and-over demo, so the film counts as something of a counter-programmer amidst a slew of more youth-oriented releases. Indeed, 54% of the film’s opening weekend audience was over the age of 50.

Third place went to the continuing powerhouse that is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, which this weekend officially overtook Ralph Breaks the Internet with an estimated gross of $11.6 million. That gives the Universal blockbuster a fantastic $239.3 million after six weeks of release. The animated retelling of the classic book continues strong thanks to its tie-in with the upcoming Christmas holiday, and with still two weeks of December left it seems likely to surpass the lifetime gross of the live-action Grinch starring Jim Carrey ($260 million) by the end of its run, not adjusting for inflation.

Falling three spots to fourth place after topping the box office for the last three weeks in a row is Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, which took in an estimated $9.6 million in its fourth weekend of release. With $154.4 million in North America, the animated sequel is currently pacing 4% ahead of Wreck-It Ralph at the same point in its run, though it’s losing steam slightly faster than its predecessor. The original film had a final tally of $189.4 million in North America.

Stumbling into fifth place was YA adaptation Mortal Engines, which grossed an estimated $7.5 million in its opening frame. The Universal release, which cost a reported $100 million to produce, had a number of factors working against it, from poor critical notices (its Rotten Tomatoes score is just 27%) to the waning box office performance of the once-hot YA fantasy genre. This despite the studio’s heavy push of producer and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s name in marketing materials and the book’s considerable pre-existing fanbase. It didn’t help that the film went head-to-head with Into the Spider-Verse, which also held considerable appeal with tweens and teens, thereby eating into Engines‘ audience. With this opening, the film will undoubtedly be counted as one of the more disappointing box office performers of the season.

Sixth place went to MGM’s Creed II, which grossed an estimated $5.3 million in its fourth weekend of release. The Rocky-adjacent sequel is now running about 16% ahead of its predecessor at the same point in its run and has now crossed the $100 million mark. With a total of $104.8 million, it should surpass the first Creed‘s lifetime gross by next weekend.

Down in seventh, Bohemian Rhapsody dropped just 33% from last weekend with an estimated $4.1 million, bringing the total for the Fox release to a spectacular $180.4 million after seven weeks of release. That makes the Freddie Mercury biopic the second blockbuster music-based drama of the fall season after A Star Is Born, which is primed to cross the $200 million mark this week.

Eighth place went to Instant Family, which boasted another strong hold this weekend, dipping just 35% to an estimated $3.72 million and a total of $60.2 million after five weeks of release. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald came in ninth with an estimated $3.65 million, bringing its domestic total to $151.6 million after five weeks of release. And in tenth, Universal’s  Green Book boasted another solid hold in tenth place with an estimated $2.78 million, a drop of just 29% from last weekend. While its wide debut was seen as somewhat disappointing, the crowd-pleasing film has held up well in subsequent weeks thanks to solid word-of-mouth. Its total now stands at $24.6 million.

Debuting just outside the Top 10 with $2.6 million was Once Upon a Deadpool, the unorthodox re-release of Deadpool 2 that tones down the foul-mouthed superhero to the tune of a PG-13 rating in an effort to draw in younger viewers. Notably, the re-release comes with a charitable bent, as one dollar from each ticket sold goes to supporting the non-profit Fudge Cancer.

After playing for three weeks in limited release, Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite expanded to 439 theaters and brought in an estimated $2.5 million, good for a per-screen average of $5,854. The Golden Globe-nominated drama now has $6.7 million in the bank and will undoubtedly expand further in the coming weeks.

Expanding to 325 screens following a limited debut last weekend, NEON’s Vox Lux brought in an estimated $244K this weekend for a per-screen average of just $751. The total for the Natalie Portman-starrer now stands at $433K.

Limited Release:

The highest per-screen average of the weekend went to Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk, the new film from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins that garnered three Golden Globe nominations last week. Opening to an estimated $219K on just four screens, the critically-acclaimed drama boasted a per-screen average of $54,793. It will expand wider in the coming weeks.

Overseas Update:

Aquaman was the No. 1 film at the global box office again this weekend with an estimated $126.4 million from 43 overseas markets. With an international cume of $261.3 million ahead of its North American release next weekend, the Warner Bros. superhero movie has now brought in a whopping $189.2 million in China, already making it the second highest-grossing Warner Bros. title ever in the country and the fourth highest-grossing superhero movie there.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took in an estimated $21 million in 44 markets, bringing its global opening haul to $56.4 million. Totals include $3.3 million in South Korea, $2.9 million in the U.K., and $2.3 million in both Russia and Australia.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch brought in an estimated $23.3 million in 65 territories, including openings of $2.9 million in China and $2.3 million in Japan. That brings its international tally to $133.4 million and its worldwide cume to $372.7 million.

Bohemian Rhapsody brought in an estimated $20 million this weekend in 58 markets, bringing its international cure to $455.5 million and its global tally to $635.9 million. Totals include $61.1 million in South Korea, $58.6 million in the U.K., and $47.2 million in Japan.


Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic)

FRI, DEC. 14 – SUN, DEC. 16

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $35,400,000 3,813 $9,284 $35,400,000 1 Sony / Columbia
2 The Mule $17,210,000 2,588 $6,650 $17,210,000 1 Warner Bros.
3 Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch $11,580,000 -23% 3,759 -82 $3,081 $239,289,710 6 Universal
4 Ralph Breaks the Internet $9,600,000 -41% 3,575 -220 $2,685 $154,475,878 4 Disney
5 Mortal Engines $7,500,000 3,103 $2,417 $7,500,000 1 Universal
6 Creed II $5,398,830 -46% 3,107 -645 $1,738 $104,882,976 4 MGM / Warner Bros
7 Bohemian Rhapsody $4,125,000 -33% 2,213 -740 $1,864 $180,423,200 7 20th Century Fox
8 Instant Family $3,720,000 -35% 2,860 -566 $1,301 $60,218,054 5 Paramount Pictures
9 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald $3,650,000 -48% 2,606 -845 $1,401 $151,653,410 5 Warner Bros.
10 Green Book $2,780,000 -29% 1,215 34 $2,288 $24,660,366 5 Universal Pictures
11 Once Upon A Deadpool $2,600,000 1,566 $1,660 $3,883,920 1 20th Century Fox
12 Widows $1,200,000 -62% 1,228 -933 $977 $40,815,656 5 20th Century Fox
13 Robin Hood $1,200,000 -66% 1,720 -853 $698 $29,783,833 4 Lionsgate / Summit
14 The Possession of Hannah Grace $1,180,000 -63% 1,307 -991 $903 $13,904,905 3 Sony / Screen Gems

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The Favourite $2,570,000 71% 439 348 $5,854 $6,739,903 4 Fox Searchlight
2 A Star is Born $1,022,000 -58% 842 -789 $1,214 $199,160,074 11 Warner Bros.
3 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms $545,000 -51% 644 -526 $846 $53,646,799 7 Walt Disney Pictures
4 Vox Lux $244,000 325 $751 $244,000 2 Neon
5 At Eternity’s Gate $188,000 -41% 178 4 $1,056 $1,446,360 5 CBS Films
6 Can You Ever Forgive Me? $140,000 -45% 166 -99 $843 $7,264,860 9 Fox Searchlight
7 Nobody’s Fool $83,000 -68% 168 -200 $494 $31,665,938 7 Paramount
8 Overlord $61,000 -76% 173 -218 $353 $21,661,755 6 Paramount Pictures

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Mary Queen of Scots $700,000 259% 66 62 $10,606 $962,835 2 Focus Features
2 If Beale Street Could Talk $219,173 4 $54,793 $219,173 1 Annapurna
3 Ben Is Back $145,543 80% 29 25 $5,019 $254,475 2 Roadside Attractions / LD Entertainment / Lionsgate
4 The House That Jack Built $40,436 33 $1,225 $40,436 3 IFC Films
5 Beautiful Boy $32,896 -68% 88 -108 $374 $32,896 10 Amazon
6 Maria By Callas $28,354 -73% 62 -87 $457 $1,139,545 7 Sony Pictures Classics
7 Capernaum $27,588 3 $9,196 $27,588 1 Sony Pictures Classics
8 The Wife $21,928 -89% 67 -354 $327 $8,152,924 18 Sony Pictures Classics
9 Border $16,358 -70% 31 -43 $528 $723,962 8 Neon
10 A Private War $14,000 -42% 50 15 $280 $1,597,875 7 Aviron Pictures
11 Suspiria $7,650 -68% 19 -14 $403 $7,650 8 Amazon Studios
12 Wildlife $7,641 -66% 24 -26 $318 $993,908 9 IFC Films
13 Becoming Astrid $3,900 -61% 12 -3 $325 $3,900 4 Music Box Films
Chris Eggertsen

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