Box Office: ‘Welcome to Marwen’ DOA, a $50-M+ Loser, ‘Aquaman’ Opens to $67-M; ‘Mary Poppins’ Flies Past ‘Bumblebee’


Robert Zemeckis’ dramedy starring Steve Carell came DOA on hammering by critics

Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen came DOA at the weekend in its domestic box office debut with a scant $2.4-M from 1,191 cinemas marking the worst opening of Y 2018 for a major Hollywood studio release.

The film will fade fast and lose $50-M+ for Universal, DreamWorks and other partners on the film, according to box office experts.

Marwen follows the disastrous opening of the Peter Jackson-produced Mortal Engines the prior weekend. That big-budget pic will lose $125-M or even more for Universal and MRC, who co-financed the film. MRC has the larger share after Universal partnered on its 50% with Legendary and China’s Perfect World.

Marwen needed good reviews to succeed with adults. But, it came with a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a B- CinemaScore from audiences.

Welcome to Marwen also holds the distinction of being Mr. Carell’s worst nationwide opening domestically.

In terms of other DOA bows in Y 2018, Amazon and Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself launched to $2.1-M from 2,609 theaters before ending up at $5.9-M

Warner Bros.’ Aquaman opened at the box office with $67.4-M from 4,125 theaters, winning the pre-Christmas session, the tentpole pic’s early domestic total stands at $72.1-M.

Meanwhile, Y 2018 domestic box office revenue looked to hit a new record Sunday, surpassing the $11.383-B haul in Y 2016. At this pace, revenue could end up at $11.8-B through 31 December

Transformers spinoff Bumblebee made up for there being no Star Wars film this year. Revenue was almost on par with the same frame last year, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi ruled.

Following what looked to be a close race, Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) musical Mary Poppins Returns beat Paramount’s Bumblebee with a weekend gross of $22.2-M from 4,090 theaters for a 5-day debut of $31-M, the sequel opened Wednesday.

Internationally, Mary Poppins Returns earned $20.3-M from its 1st 17 markets for a worldwide opening of $52.1-M.

Bumblebee, facing tough competition from Aquaman, followed with $21-M from 3,550 locations. Both tentpoles appealed to diverse audiences.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse placed #4 in its 2nd weekend, declining 54% to an estimated $16.5-M for a 10-day take of $65-M. 

Warners and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule rounded out the Top 5 in its 2nd outing, dipping 47% to $9.3-M for a domestic box office of $35-M.

Illumination and Universal’s The Grinch remained a strong player in its 7th weekend, coming in #6 with $8.2-M for a domestic total of $253.2-M Overseas, it earned $23.7-M from 62 markets for a global box office of $422.5-M.

At the specialty box office

Amazon Studios (NaSDAQ:AMZN) and Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold Warbowed in 3 theaters for a theater average of $18,575, a solid showing for a foreign-language entry.

In its 2nd outing, Annapurna and Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk scored the Top location average of any film at $111,902 from 5 cinemas.

Among other awards contenders

Focus Features’ Mary Queen of Scots rose to # 10 in its 3rd weekend upon expanding into 795 theaters. The film earned $2.2-M for an early domestic total of $3.5-M.

The other royal drama, The Favourite, expanded nationwide too. The Fox Searchlight release earned $2-M in its 5th weekend from 790 theaters for a domestic box office of $10-M.

Have a Happy Christmas week, see a movie too.

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