'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Delivers Largest December Animated Opening at $35.4 Million
by Brad Brevet
December 16, 2018
For the 13th time this year the top film at the weekend box office was adapted from a Marvel Comics property as Sony's animated release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took the weekend box office crown with the largest opening ever for an animated film in December. Warner Bros.'s The Mule also enjoyed a solid debut while Universal's release of Mortal Engines crashed and burned. Additionally, ahead of its domestic debut next weekend, WB's Aquaman continued its stellar international rollout as the #1 film at the global box office this weekend.
Finishing at #1, Sony Animation's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brought in an estimated $35.4 million for what is the largest three-day animated opening of all-time in the month of December. Previously, Universal and Illumination's Sing held that record with its $35.2 million opening. However, that debut does come with the caveat that it was part of a five-day opening that totaled $55.8 million back in December 2016. That being said, this is a great start for the production which should enjoy excellent play throughout the holiday season and beyond. The film received almost universally positive reviews heading into the weekend and earned a coveted "A+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences. Opening weekend crowds were largely male at 63% with 41% of the audience coming in aged 25 or older.
Internationally, Spider-Verse brought in $21 million from 44 overseas markets, led by a $3.3 million opening in South Korea followed by the UK ($2.9m), Russia ($2.3m) and Australia ($2.3m). The film will add an additional 11 markets next weekend including openings in China and Spain.
Finishing in second is Warner Bros.'s release of Clint Eastwood's The Mule, which delivered a $17.2 million opening from just 2,588 locations. The $50 million production received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, and played to a crowd that was 54% male and 88% of which were over the age of 25. The film should play well over the coming weeks as a solid piece of counter-programming for adult audiences.
With the best hold in the top ten, Universal and Illumination's The Grinch finished third, dropping just -23% for an estimated $11.58 million start to its sixth week in release. The film has now grossed nearly $240 million domestically to go along with $133.4 million internationally after adding an additional $23.3 million overseas this weekend including a $2.9 million opening in China and a $2.3 million debut in Japan.
Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet dipped to fourth, falling below The Grinch for the first time since its release, with an estimated $9.58 million as the film's domestic cume is now just shy of $155 million. Internationally, Ralph added $7.9 million this weekend for a global tally that now tops $285 million. The film will open in Japan and Hong Kong next weekend with several top markets still yet to release.
Rounding out the top five is Universal's Mortal Engines, a $100 million production that took in a disastrous $7.5 million this weekend from 3,103 locations. The film entered the weekend with lackluster reviews, a sentiment that was mostly echoed by the audience with a "B-" CinemaScore. Opening weekend crowds were 55% male with 64% of the audience aged 25 or older. We don't expect this one to be around for too long.
Internationally, Mortal Engines began its overseas run last weekend and added 11 additional markets this weekend for a total of 54 from which it brought in an estimated $11.5 million for a total of $34.8 million so far. Highlights this weekend include a #3 opening in France with an estimated $1.6 million followed by the UK ($1.59m), Germany ($1.3m), Italy ($869k) and Spain ($790k). The film has three major markets yet to be released made up of Mexico (Jan 4), Brazil (Jan 10) and Japan (Mar 1).
Outside the top ten, Fox's PG-13 re-release of Deadpool 2, Once Upon a Deadpool, brought in an estimated $2.6 million from 1,566 locations. Grosses from the re-release's two week run are being added to the overall gross for Deadpool 2, which now stands at $322.3 million. The PG-13 edit was also released in 12 markets internationally where it brought in an estimated $1 million.
Fox Searchlight's release of The Favourite expanded into 439 locations (+348) this weekend and brought in an estimated $2.57 million (+70.9%). Next weekend the film will expand nationwide, expected to play in 750-800 locations.
In limited release, Annapurna's If Beale Street Could Talk opened in four locations with an estimated $219,173 for a chart-topping $54,793 per theater average. The film will expand on Christmas Day to approximately 65 locations with further expansion throughout January. Additional releases include IFC's The House that Jack Built, which brought in an estimated $40,436 from 33 locations ($1,225 PTA) and Sony Classics debuted Capernaum on three screens where it brought in an estimated $27,588 ($9,196 PTA).
It must also be mentioned that WB's international release of Aquaman followed up its monster debut in China last weekend with a similarly strong performance this weekend as it added an additional 42 markets and brought in an estimated $126.4 million for an international cume that now totals $261.3 million. The DC Comics property added another $54.2 million in China this weekend for a cume totaling over $189 million followed by releases in Brazil ($7.7m), Russia ($7.4m), Mexico ($7.9m), UK ($6.5m), Indonesia ($5.3m), Taiwan ($4.7m), Philippines ($4.3m), India ($4m) and Thailand ($3.5m). To go along with its domestic release next weekend, the film will open in France, South Korea, Germany and Spain with releases in Australia (Dec 26), Italy (Jan 1) and Japan (Feb 8) remain.
Next week sees a flurry of new releases beginning on Wednesday with Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, which is set to play in ~3,800 locations. Following that, on Friday Warner Bros. will release Aquaman in over 4,100 theaters; Paramount will debut the latest Transformers feature, Bumblebee in ~3,500 locations; STX's romantic comedy Second Act starring Jennifer Lopez will debut in 2,600+ theaters; and Universal's Welcome to Marwen arrives in ~1,900 locations.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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