We have arrived at the most exciting ten-to-12 day period of the box-office year, where films can earn as much on any day of holiday break as they typically would earn on a Friday or Saturday night during the rest of the year. That is spectacular news for Aquaman, which earned $27.8 million on its first Friday, which is about what Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle earned in its first three days last year (Wed – Friday), and that movie went on to earn over $400 million domestic. Aquaman is obviously a different kind of film, but it looks like a $72 million haul for its first three days (plus previews) with the possibility of hitting $100 million through Christmas Day. That is not quite as high as the $120 million some were predicting, but the weekend before Christmas often proves to be less trafficked than Christmas Day and the week following. With an A- Cinemascore and a decent 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, expect the DC flick to continue performing well throughout the week to add to the more than $330 million it has already earned overseas.
The Mary Poppins Returns‘ $22.2 million haul doesn’t look great compared to Aquaman, but Poppins is a family film and I suspect that a lot of families are holding off to see it on Christmas Day and beyond. It opened on Wednesday and has earned $31 million, so far. Reviews have been decent (77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) while it, too, owns an A- Cinemascore. In either respect, it’s running well ahead of the $13.4 million earned by The Greatest Showman over a similar period last year, and that movie took off after the holiday. Poppins is a musical, which already have great box-office legs, so with decent reviews and a high Cinemascore, the film is expected to play very well over the holidays and beyond.