BOX OFFICE: “Aquaman” gulps another $30, “Escape Room” gets away with $17

boxWarners is still making mint by casting the right “Aquaman,” and humorously marketing the hell out of what most would consider a lesser hero of the DC Comic Book Universe.

Another $30 million+ this weekend? That’s what Deadline.com is saying after Friday’s boffo bank. Projections had been for a far more modest $25, maybe $26.

“Escape Room” managed to clear $17 million for Sony and in all likelihood, overtake Disney’s awards season blockbuster, “Mary Poppins Returns” (just under $17) for second place. Horror ALWAYS does well in the dead days of early January. Regular moviegoers have seen all the Oscar contenders, holdovers — and dive into the first thriller to get their attention.

And “Escape Room?” It’s not terrible, which always helps.

Michael Keaton’s “comeback” didn’t begin with “Birdman.” He was in “White Noise,” which made a lot of January noise and reintroduced him to fans and to the filmmakers who hired him afterwards. Producers were convinced he could still bring an audience.

“Spider-Verse” fades to fourth, “Mule” steadily closes in on $100 million, “Vice” rises to seventh.

No other “contender” is in the top ten, with “The Favourite” and “Marty Queen of Scots” sliding back into the second ten, and so on and so forth.

Golden Globes night is nigh, and “Vice” would be the only picture still in wide release (the animated “Ralph Breaks the Internet” shouldn’t win best animated feature, nor should “Spider-Verse,” but you never know) to benefit from a bounce from Hollywood’s Foreign Press endorsement. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still making money though, and we hear the HFPA just loves Queen.

“Rhapsody” will need Globes/Oscar bounces to clear $200 million and catch its fellow “contender,” “A Star is Born.” 

 

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