Box Office: 'Aquaman' Swimming to Stellar $70M-Plus Weekend

Jasin Boland/ ™ & © DC Comics
Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Warner Bros. Pictures' Aquaman.

Warner Bros.' Aquaman is swimming toward a stellar $70 million-plus weekend debut at the pre-Christmas box office, one of the best showings ever for the holiday corridor outside of the Star Wars films in a win for the DC superhero universe.

That will include a Friday (Dec. 21) haul of $30 million or more, including $13.7 million in previews. The superhero pic has already amassed north of $300 million overseas, much of it from China.

Christmas is unlike any other time of year at the box office. The weekend before the holiday can be somewhat slow as consumers focus on holiday preparations (the big exception, of course, are the Star Wars movies, which did massive business pre-Christmas). Traffic at the multiplex will pick up in earnest on the afternoon of Dec. 25, and stay at peak levels through New Year.

Aquaman is directed by James Wan and stars Jason Momoa in the titular role. Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren co-star.

As expected, the tentpole will easily win the weekend ahead of Disney and director Rob Marshall's musical Mary Poppins Returns and Paramount's Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, helmed by Travis Knight.

Mary Poppins Returns took flight on Wednesday in North America, and is eyeing a five-day debut of $28 million-$32 million. Musicals don't tend to sport big openings, but can enjoy an especially long run, such as The Greatest Showman last year.

The follow-up to the classic 1964 film stars Emily Blunt as the iconic nanny alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, Ben Whishaw and Angela Lansbury. Dick Van Dyke, who starred opposite Julie Andrews in the original pic, makes a cameo.

Paramount's Bumblebee, earning $2.1 million in Thursday previews, is projected to post a weekend opening in the $18 million-$22 million range. The Transformers spinoff is an origin story directed by Travis Knight and starring Hailee Steinfeld, and boasts the best Rotten Tomatoes score -- 94 percent -- of any film opening nationwide this weekend.

Also debuting are STXfilms' Second Act, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, and Universal's Welcome to Marwen, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Steve Carell. Neither has been embraced by critics.

Second Act grossed $515,000 in Thursday previews for a projected weekend gross of $8 million-$10 million; Marwen earned just $190,000 in previews.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.


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