New releases Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns receive impressively high A- Cinemascores. 2018's movie lineup is almost completely released, but Hollywood is positioned to close out the year on a high note with several high profile films hitting theaters over the holiday season.
With no new Star Wars movie coming out in December, every studio wants to try and get in on the potentially lucrative window. Sony got things started last week with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which had an impressive opening and appears primed to have strong legs after earning an A+ Cinemascore. Despite the positive word of mouth and glowing reviews though, the animated superhero movie finds itself with tons of competition in its second weekend. Warner Bros. released the latest DC movie, Aquaman and is already dominating the international box office; Paramount debuted their soft reboot of the Transformers to franchise best reviews; and Disney shared the Emily Blunt led continuation Mary Poppins Returns.
As all three movies experience their opening weekends and battle for the top spot, they have each earned the exact same Cinemascore. The service polls audiences with a variety of questions to determine the response. Films are graded by a series of six questions and can get a score ranging from A+ to F. With Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns all receiving an A- score, this is typically a sign of continued interest by audiences and prolonged box office success.
Starting with Aquaman, an A- Cinemascore is a great start for the Jason Momoa solo movie. The critical reaction has been relatively positive, but audiences are clearly taking to the underwater superhero movie. It is on track for an opening weekend north of $120 million. Aquaman is not only just the second DCEU movie to have a fresh critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but this A- Cinemascore makes it tied for second best of the series. Last year's Wonder Woman has the universe's best score with an A, while Aquaman ties with Man of Steel's A- rating.
With Bumblebee, the A- score continues a positive fan response that propelled the Michael Bay movies to over $4 billion at the box office combined. None of Bay's films earned below a B+ rating, with the original Transformers and Transformers: Dark of the Moon tied for a franchise best A score. Bumblebee actually winds up tying with Transformers: Age of Extinction. Even though this score in relation to the franchise may be surprising, the critical consensus puts Bumblebee among the year's best reviewed blockbusters.
As for Mary Poppins Returns, this makes for another successful launch for one of Disney's live-action reboots or remakes. It may not have the franchise fare behind it, but the reviews from critics and audiences alike have been strong. When it comes to this weekend though, it is Aquaman that should come out on top, with Mary Poppins sliding into second place and Bumblebee debuting in third. However the box office standings shake out, they won't be tying like they did here.