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Aquaman swims toward weekend domination with $9 million preview night total

This weekend leading into Christmas will see three big new releases hitting the market, with the DC superhero movie AQUAMAN poised to come out on top of the competition, MARY POPPINS RETURNS and BUMBLEBEE. Already the waves are starting to pick up, and things are looking bright for the comic book movie after it made a strong $9 million from its Thursday preview shows. The tides are strong with this one.

Now that the figures are out from last night (via BoxOffice.com) we can see that though this $9 million comes in under similar movies like VENOM ($10 million), ANT-MAN & THE WASP ($11 million), and WAY under the likes of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and BLACK PANTHER, this is still a strong showing from the underwater adventure. That $9 million doesn’t include the $2.9 million it made from its first Amazon Prime preview screening on December 15, and another $1.8 million from December 19 showings, meaning its real preview screening total is well over $13 million, meaning the movie is poised to come out on the higher end of expectations for the weekend.

Christmas is an odd time for movies at the box office. They tend to open lower than normal (if they aren’t a STAR WARS movie), as people spread out their spending, meaning movies may open lower than they would if it were the summer, but in the end, they have longer legs than their sunshine-time counterparts. On that note, the fact AQUAMAN is set to have a five-day weekend that could hit somewhere between $80-100 million signals a fantastic start for the movie, and add that to an already $300+ million international total, this could easily be the one to win the holiday season over the competition.

Speaking of that competition, MARY POPPINS had a decent $4 million Thursday, but unlike AQUAMAN this was the movie’s second full day of release, opening wide December 19 (the movie has so far made about $8.8 million domestically). This could signify an opening on the lower end of expectations, coming in for $60-70 million through Christmas. Then there’s BUMBLEBEE, which made $2 million on Thursday, which is fine for the frame, but already analysts are predicting the movie will come in under $40 million through Christmas, meaning it could have a hard time bringing in audiences jaded by years of other TRANSFORMERS movies – despite this one’s vastly superior reviews.

All in all, things are looking great for AQUAMAN, with the James Wan movie starring Jason Momoa as the title hero set to make up for the lackluster showing from last year's JUSTICE LEAGUE, which came in wildly under expectations, leading to a big shakeup for the DC cinematic universe. Though this movie may not reach WONDER WOMAN-level box office success domestically, between the current international frame and a bright domestic future this sea-faring adventure has nothing but the horizon ahead of it. 

AQUAMAN, BUMBLEBEE and MARY POPPINS RETURNS are all in theaters now. 

Source: BoxOffice.com

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