Aquaman movie stays strong with $51.5M in second weekend

Cast members Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman and Amber Heard pose at the premiere for
Cast members Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman and Amber Heard pose at the premiere for "Aquaman" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 12, 2018

Aquaman easily retained its reign in North America for the second weekend in a row, dominating box office charts with $51.5 million from 4,125 locations.

That marks a decline of just 24 percent from its opening weekend of $72 million and brings the DC superhero tentpole past $188 million in the states.

Since it’s a busy time of year for moviegoing, “Aquaman” will likely cross $200 million by New Year’s and could become Warner Bros.’ biggest film of 2018.

Overseas, the movie, directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa, has surpassed $560 million.

There was enough holiday cheer at multiplexes to spread the wealth.

Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” held the No. 2 spot with $28 million, a solid uptick of 28 percent to take ticket sales just shy of $100 million.

Globally, the musical has amassed $173 million.

Paramount’s “Bumblebee” landed in third place again, picking up $21 million from 3,550 venues, a small 3 percent drop.

The “Transformers” origin story with Hailee Steinfeld has made $67 million through Sunday.

Meanwhile, a pair of Christmas Day releases — “Vice” and “Holmes and Watson” — are neck in neck for sixth place.

The former, Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, generated $7.8 million for a domestic haul of $17.7 million.

That’s a middling result for a movie that cost Annapurna $60 million to produce before accounting for marketing costs.

The latter, “Holmes and Watson,” a comedy starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, brought in $7.3 million during the three-day stretch and $19.8 million since Tuesday.

The good news, for the comedy at least, is its Rotten Tomatoes score has jumped from 0 percent to 9 percent.

The bad news is Columbia Pictures shelled out $42 million to make the absurd take on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Not falling far behind is STX and Jennifer Lopez’s “Second Act.” The romantic comedy saw a gain this weekend, up 11% with $7.2 million for a domestic cume of $21.7 million.

DreamWorks and Universal’s “Welcome to Marwen” continues to have a bleak holiday, dropping to No. 14 with $2.23 million in its second outing.

Robert Zemeckis directed the drama starring Steve Carell as a man who attempts to overcome his PTSD. It’s made just $7.7 million, branding it as one of this year’s biggest flops.

The movie, based on the 2010 documentary “Marwencol,” carries a $40 million price tag and stands to lose the studio over $45 million when marketing and distribution costs are considered.

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