Aquaman Stays Afloat Atop North American Box Office

California: Aquaman displayed a powerful kick in North American theaters over the weekend, taking in an estimated $51.6 million to help close a record year for the movie sector, data showed. The domestic film industry is projected to gross a record $11.9 billion this year, up 2.7 percent from last year, according to industry monitor ComScore.

Aquaman slipped just 24 percent from its opening weekend, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations reported, while some superhero films lose 50 or even 60 percent in week two. With hunky and heavily tattooed Jason Momoa in the lead role, the Warner Bros. film has grossed nearly $750 million globally.

Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, actually gained altitude in its second weekend, taking in $28 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, up 18 percent. The follow-up to the 1964 movie stars Emily Blunt as the stern but kind-hearted nanny, backed by the amiable Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame.

In third was Paramount s Bumblebee, a prequel to the Transformers movies, starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, at $20.5 million. The Washington Post credits the film with rising above earlier editions in the franchise to show “humor, emotion and a surprising amount of heart. Fourth place went to Sony s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” at $18.3 million.

The Aquaman film has drawn rave reviews — with a 97 score on the Rotten Tomatoes website — and has netted a Golden Globe nomination as best animated picture.

In fifth was “The Mule” from Warner Bros., at $11.8 million, a 27 percent jump from last weekend. Clint Eastwood directs and takes the lead role — his last acting part, he has said — as a destitute 90-year-old who turns to transporting cocaine for a drug cartel. AFP

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