Despite this, the DC superhero movie is easily outperforming a number of other brand-new holiday releases, such as “Migration,” “Anyone But You,” and “The Iron Claw.”
Many films have had their early box office predictions lowered because Saturday’s traffic was fewer than anticipated and people were more preoccupied with getting ready for the holidays and other activities. Now, the hope is that, come Monday when the presents are opened, moviegoing will resume in earnest. Because it clashes with the weekend, Hollywood studios never enjoy it when December 25 occurs on a Monday.
On the other hand, with a projected four-day Christmas weekend revenue of $40 million, including $28 million for the three days, James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is expected to have one of the worst openings in the history of the DC Cinematic Universe. The good news is that it is still capable of finishing first.
Reuniting Wan with actor Jason Momoa, the big-budget tentpole has only received a B CinemaScore from viewers and has received harsh criticism from critics. An era is coming to an end with the sequel, which had a difficult time getting to the big screen. James Gunn and Peter Safran, the new DC executives, plan to rebuild the DC Universe with Superman: Legacy in 2025. (Momoa has hinted that an Aquaman threequel is unlikely.)
The first Aquaman dominated the year-end celebration in 2018 after swimming to a $67.9 million three-day opening over the weekend of December 21–23. Its domestic total through Christmas Day, which fell on a Tuesday that year, was an impressive $105.4 million (which includes several million from special sneak peaks the weekend before). With its $335.1 million domestic and $1.15 billion worldwide gross, the film went on to become the highest grossing DCEU film ever, even after accounting for inflation.
Superhero exhaustion theory gains more support from Wan’s film. Weary even are the most devoted fanboys. Aquaman 2 is also lagging behind competitor Marvel Studios’ disastrous $46.1 million movie office debut, The Marvels.
Numerous more movies debuted on Friday, and the Warners company is feeling especially charitable. The Color Purple, which releases on December 25, Aquaman 2, which debuted last weekend, and Wonka are the studio’s three year-end holiday event films. Given that two of those are musicals, it’s a bold achievement, to put it mildly).
Migration is being added to the family holiday lineup by Illumination and Universal, in yet another indication of the public’s appetite for theatrical animated fare and particularly creative stories.
Ahead of some tracking services’ predictions, the animated tentpole—which received an A CinemaScore—is anticipated to gross $12.2 million over the course of four days and $12.3 million over the weekend from 3,761 screens. With a projected foreign total of $22 million from 43 markets through Sunday, the film is doing a mediocre amount of business abroad thus far.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the most profitable time of the year to go to the movies, thus the decision on Migration won’t be made until New Year’s weekend.
With a predicted total of $30 million over the course of four days, Timothée Chalamet’s film Migration is expected to rank third, behind Aquaman and Wonka.
Sony/Columbia’s tense romantic comedy Releasing an estimated $8.8 million to $9 million from 3,055 theaters over the four days, Anyone but You is approaching a fourth-place finish. Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell starred in the film, which had a B+ CinemaScore. (For most films, no studio prefers anything but a rating of A-plus.)
About 25% of all moviegoers purchasing tickets for the romantic comedy are female, but at least 66% of those purchasing tickets for A24’s wrestling family drama The Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron, are male. Additionally ahead of tracking, Iron Claw is expected to open to $8 million.
Searchlight Picture debuted Andrew Haigh’s critically praised All of Us Strangers in four locations in New York and Los Angeles at the specialty box office. With an anticipated excellent location average of $43,000 for four days, including $33,034 for the three-day weekend—one of the greatest showings of the year—the awards contender is in for a treat.
There will be more.
Dec. 24, 8 a.m.: Weekend projections have been updated.
At 8:23 a.m. on December 23, the story was first published.