BOX OFFICE: Will “Aquaman” dunk “Mary Poppins?”

The marketing folks are lowballing expectations for the latest Warner Brothers’ latest stand-alone comic book superhero movie, James Wan’s take on “Aquaman.”

Considering the movie has blown up China and the rest of overseas — closing in on $300 million as I type — you’d expect its opening weekend in the US to be epic. Or huge. Or bigger than the $65 million Variety is reporting as “expected gross” for the three day weekend. As Christmas falls on Tuesday this year, the five day holiday “weekend” could climb to $125 million, per Box Office Mojo. 

Again, that feels like lowering expectations.

It’s got a lot of competition — both the second weekend of “Into the Spider-Verse” and a new “Bumblebee” movie drawing off filmgoers.

Which could give the weekend to “Mary Poppins Returns.” In Disney’s dreams, anyway. Mojo is saying the long, Emily Blunt musical sequel will clear $30 over the weekend (it opens today, Wed.) and by NEXT Wed. it should have cleared $55 million. Variety says it could reach $100 million over that period.

Box Office Mojo says that “Bumblebee” pre-sales have it outpacing the last “Transformers” movie, “The Last Knight.” that one opened with almost $45 million in ticket sales.

“Welcome to Marwen” and “Second Act” are two more grownup films with nary a prayer of clearing $10 million. Jennifer Lopez is a green start-up studio’s idea of a big name movie star and STX is about to find out she cannot open a movie by herself.

“Marwen” is positioned as an awards buzz picture, but one with zero awards buzz. These two films might manage $10-13 million this weekend — adding both their takes together.

 

 

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