‘Aqua­man’ tar­gets heroic pre-Christ­mas de­but of $65m

Sunday Trust - - ARTS & IDEAS - Source: THR.com

The comic book adap­ta­tion will go up against ‘Mary Pop­pins Re­turns’ and ‘Bum­ble­bee’ over the Dec. 21-23 week­end. James Wan’s ‘Aqua­man’, star­ring Ja­son Mo­moa in the tit­u­lar role, is tracking for a strong U.S. de­but of $65 mil­lion-plus at the pre-Christ­mas box of­fice, ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers at Warner Bros.

The DC En­ter­tain­ment su­per­hero pic is set to go up against Dis­ney’s ‘Mary Pop­pins Re­turns’ and ‘Trans­form­ers’ spinoff ‘Bum­ble­bee’ over the Dec. 21-23 week­end, and should eas­ily top the chart for the three days. The trio of films came on tracking Thurs­day.

Save for the re­cent Star Wars pics, the year-end hol­i­day cor­ri­dor isn’t known for big open­ings; rather, movies can en­joy a huge mul­ti­ple be­tween Christ­mas Day and New Year’s Day. Box-of­fice an­a­lysts also ad­vise that tracking be­comes very dif­fi­cult dur­ing this pe­riod be­cause of stag­gered roll­outs, and on which day of the week Dec. 25 ac­tu­ally falls (this year, Christ­mas is on a Tues­day).

Dis­ney’s ‘Mary Pop­pins Re­turns’, for ex­am­ple, is set to bow Dec. 19, a Wed­nes­day. The pic, star­ring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Mi­randa, is like­wise look­ing like a Christ­mas win­ner. Tracking sug­gests it could pull in $35 mil­lion to $40 mil­lion in its first five days, and an im­pres­sive $55 mil­lion to $60 mil­lion through Dec. 25.

If it in­deed earns $65 mil­lion in its first week­end - one of the top do­mes­tic de­buts for that time of year - ‘Aqua­man’ should swim to as much as $100 mil­lion for the Fri­day-Tues­day cor­ri­dor.

Para­mount’s ‘Bum­ble­bee’ is tracking for a solid week­end start of $25 mil­lion and a five-day launch of $35 mil­lion. The spinoff stars Hailee Ste­in­feld.

While Christ­mas Eve day is no­to­ri­ously quiet at the mul­ti­plex, traffic picks up in earnest on the af­ter­noon of the 25th and stays strong through­out the week.

In or­der to help build word of mouth, Warner Bros. will sneak ‘Aqua­man’ in hun­dred of the­aters on the evening of Dec. 15 ex­clu­sively for Ama­zon Prime mem­bers.


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