DC's Aquaman took in nearly $3 million from its early screenings, surpassing last year's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The latest addition to the DC Extended Universe, Aquaman is already doing well financially, ahead of its U.S. theatrical release next weekend. James Wan's superhero movie is also generating overall positive word of mouth at the moment, with early Aquaman reviews praising the film for being a properly entertaining (and properly weird) popcorn movie anchored by Jason Momoa's charismatic performance as a dude-bro Arthur Curry (reprising his role from last year's not-so-beloved Justice League).
Aquaman enjoyed a big opening weekend in China last week and has grossed $261 million at the international box office so far. Meanwhile, the film took in $2.9 million from its early U.S. screenings with Amazon Prime this weekend. That's far more than Sony's Jumanji made with its own Amazon Prime early showings a year ago ($1.8 million), and good enough to land the film a spot in the top 10 at the U.S. box office.
As reported by Deadline, Aquaman scored $2.9 million from its sneak peek screenings on Saturday evening at 1,225 theaters nationwide. Technically, that makes Wan's tentpole the 10th highest-grossing movie in the U.S. this weekend, besting the total for Green Book (which landed $2.78 million to claim the official #10 spot). Aquaman's Saturday night grosses were even higher than Once Upon a Deadpool's three-day opening weekend take of $2.6 million.
Deadline has further revealed that Transformers spinoff Bumblebee (which will open directly against Aquaman next weekend) took in around $500K from its own Saturday night sneak peeks earlier this month. It's worth noting, however, that Bumblebee was only screened in 325 theaters, so it's early showings gross can't really be compared to Aquaman's. As it stands, DC's latest is expected to secure $115 million over its first five days playing in the U.S. (on through to Christmas), with Bumblebee following suit with around $35-40 million. Both films are predicted to have strong legs after that - especially the latter, with Bumblebee being haled as (easily) the best Transformers movie yet, as well as one of 2018's best tentpoles in general.
That will certainly come as welcome news for Warner Bros., which was banking on Aquaman being a rebound for the DCEU (both critically and commercially). Talks for an Aquaman sequel have already begun and should only pick up speed, in light of the film's strong start at the global box office. Assuming those who caught the movie's early screenings continue to spread good word of mouth, the odds are in favor of Aquaman surpassing the latest box office projections and making (forgive the wording) quite the splash in its stateside debut.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
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