D.C.’s Aquaman easily maintained the number one spot over the first weekend of 2019, building upon its first two huge weekends by adding another $30.7 million to bring its three-week total to $259 million. That puts the James Wan film within striking distance of besting Man of Steel ($291 million) with an outside shot of overtaking Suicide Squad ($325 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330 million). The domestic take of Wonder Woman ($412 million) is out of reach, but Aquaman can still boast the highest worldwide totals of all the DCEU films now, surpassing $900 million. It even has a shot of scoring $1 billion and surpassing The Dark Knight ($1.003 billion) and The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 billion) globally. If Aquaman manages to hold the spot for another week — and that seems likely — it’ll be the first Warner Brothers’ film to hold the spot for four weeks since The Dark Knight back in 2008. No one is happier than shirtless Jason Momoa.
Meanwhile, the first major entry of 2019, Escape Room, will claim the number two spot in its opening weekend of release. As is unofficial tradition, studios often kick off the new year with a low-budget horror movie, although it’s something of a stretch to call Escape Room a “horror” movie. It’s fun and often intense, but it’s not exactly scary and there’s practically no blood or violence to speak of. All the same, it scored $17.7 million, which is a good result for a film made for $9 million. However, it’s short of the opening weekend for a number of other horror films released during the first weekend of the year, including 2018’s Insidious: The Last Key, from the same director, Adam Robitel, which earned $29 million in its opening weekend. Escape Room was buoyed by OK reviews (52 percent) and a B Cinemascore, which is pretty good for a horror flick.
Mary Poppins Returns, which held the number two position the last two weeks fell to number three this weekend, as kids returned to schools and families returned to their normal weekend activities (plus, the NFL playoffs). With $16 million, it’s now put up $139 million, which is good but not the spectacular number for which Disney was hoping. It may approach the $100 million mark overseas this weekend, too, and while $230 million worldwide, so far, is nothing to sneeze at, for a movie that cost $130 million to produce, better numbers were expected. I suspect that Mary Poppins is unlikely to return again for another generation or two.