BOX OFFICE: “Aquaman” clears $67, “Poppins” squashes “Bumblebee”

aquaThe “weekend” part of the “Christmas Holiday Weekend” at the movies is over.

And “Aquaman,” as expected, as projected, is finishing it with a healthy $67.4 million at the box office — since Thursday night.

Will it hit $100 million by midnight Christmas Day? Earlier projections pointed to as low as that, and as high as $121. Now everything’s a tad scaled back in terms of expectations.

Warners has already earned over $400 million from the movie overseas, so North American money is just icing on the cake. We will see more of Mr. Momoa shirtless and swimming, so it would seem.

“Bumblebee,” a puerile but generally inoffensive reboot of the “Transformers” franchise –could not beat Disney’s reboot of the 54 year old “Mary Poppins” franchise (Hah!) on its opening weekend, with Emily Blunt’s “Poppins,” which opened Wednesday, still having enough juice to clear $22 million ($31 million since Wed.).

“Bumblebee” — with stiff competition in the fanboy films category (“Into the Spiderverse,” “Aquaman”) — managed $21.

Jennifer Lopez cashed that STX check but only gave the newish-startup studio a $6.5 million opening weekend. Poor.

“Welcome to Marwen,” Universal’s $39 million gamble on Robert Zemeckis and Steve Carell and Leslie Mann, is a complete bust — $2.35 million. 

“Mary Queen of Scots” opened wide enough to finally crack the top ten. “The Favourite” was forced out of the top ten because of that. 

A little awards heat from one film or the other could change that. Both deserve acting Oscar nominations, I figure. “Favourite” more than “Mary.

“The Mule” is settling in for a long run, with Clint’s fans finding it — slowly. “Green Book” needs an Oscar bounce to get above $30 million, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is winning the per-screen average wars in VERY limited release. A little awards bounce would do wonders for that one.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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