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Aquaman is now DCEU's Biggest Film

While the box office charts we share each week are domestic money only, Aquaman has already become the biggest DC movie since their "expanded universe" began overseas. It will be the first of those films to cross the billion dollar mark globally. That said stateside it's still $150 million behind Wonder Woman  though it should easily topple Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman by the the end of its run since it's still going strong.

More box office news after the jump...

Weekend Box Office (Estimates)
(January 4th-6th)

800+ screens
excluding prev. wide
1 Aquaman  $30.7 on 4184 screens (cum. $259.7) Review, Podcast
1 🔺 If Beale Street Could Talk $1.8 on 335 screens (cum. $4.4) ReviewPodcast  ❤️  
2 Escape Room $18 on 2717 screens *NEW* Podcast ❤️ 
2 🔺 On the Basis of Sex $1.6 on 112 screens (cum. $3.7)
Mary Poppins Returns $15.7 on 4090 screens  (cum. $138.7)
3 Simmba $1 on 292 screens  (cum. $4.1)
4 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $18.8 on 3813 screens (cum. $104.1) Review ❤️  Ben is Back $338k on 159 screens (cum. $2.5) Review, Podcast ❤️
5 Bumblebee $12.7 on 3597 screens (cum. $97.1)
5 Free Solo $114k on 54 screens (cum. $11.4)  Review ❤️


Escape Room, the sole release of 2019 thus far (teehee) did surprisingly well in its opening weekend until you realize that horror films usually do, since the fans of that genre are as loyal as fans get. In limited release If Beale Street Could Talk added nearly 300 screens and tops that particular chart. Will this surge just before Oscar voting be enough to put it in the Best Picture lineup or did it open too late? We'll see.

6 🔺 The Mule $9 on 3212 screens (cum. $81.1) Review
6 🔺  Destroyer $110k on 6 screens (cum. $259k)   Review ❤️
7 Vice $7.4 on 2534 screens (cum. $19.8) Podcast, Random Thoughts
7 🔺 Stan & Ollie $96k on 8 screens (cum. $243k) Review ❤️
8 Second Act $4.9 on 2523 screens (cum. $32.9)
8 🔺  Cold War $93k on 6 screens (cum. $274k)  ReviewPodcastOscar FINALIST ❤️
9 Ralph Breaks the Internet $4.6 on 2050 screens (cum. $187.1)
9 At Eternity's Gate $61k on 49 screens (cum. $1.9)  Review ❤️ 
10 Holmes & Watson $3.4 on 2780 screens (cum. $28.4)  
10 🔺 Capernaum $33k on 10 screens (cum. $173k) Podcast , Oscar FINALIST ❤️
🔺 = new or expanding theater count / ❤️ = recommended by TFE
numbers (in millions unless otherwise noted) from box office mojo 


Some final thoughts:

The Mule is another hit for the ever bankable Clint Eastwood. It's already proven to have "legs" in its box office run. It actually added over four-hundred theaters in its fourth weekend!

The highest per screen average this week was actually for Nicole Kidman in Destroyer  despite a very quiet opening and rapidly dimming prospects for that Best Actress nomination. It only added 3 theaters this weekend. They're sure being timid with it. Yes, it's an "art" film to some degree but it's also a police procedural (totally mainstream genre) and they could have easily opened it wider with more of a marketing push. And they definitely should have opened it right after its Toronto debut.

Cold War and Capernaum are both also being very timid, inching their way open. They're surely banking on Oscar nominations before a bigger marketing and expansion push.

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Reader Comments (21)

Who knew that J lo could still opena movie,Well Done Clint on of the last great Movie Stars.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I did a double feature of VICE and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Like others have said, VICE is condescending, shallow garbage and got a bad performance out of Amy Adams. I don't see much of a difference between it and Dinesh D'Souza's work.

If Beale Street Could Talk was mildly disappointing. The craftmanship is among my favorite of the year. I think Barry Jenkins' direction here is better than in Moonlight. The cinematography, costumes, production design and score are all gorgeous. But, I found the characters thinly written and only in some cases (Regina King bless her) did the actors complicate and add to what's on the page. I don't really like criticizing it because so much of it is gorgeous and it's very well-meaning, but it didn't add up to as much as I wanted.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

Destroyer is terrible. Not making excuses for it because you're chairman of the Kidmanic fan club.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I saw If Beale Street Could Talk and loved it. Beautiful work all around.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Roma (in theatres).

Not part of this fan club, but I do want to see it again due to questions about my own reactions.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

The yellow wool cape worn by Kiki in IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK is right up there with Keira Knightley's green dress in ATONEMENT

BEAUTIFUL costumes all around in this film... Gorgeous!

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

Escape Room is most of a good film. It goes off the rails in the final few minutes and really wrecks the experience.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

re. Destroyer > I'm more Kidman-agnostic than pretty much anyone who reads this blog, but I actually thought Destroyer was okay. Not great or anything. But okay enough that I'm surprised at the widespread hatred. It's engaging enough as a thriller and features a great action setpiece in the middle.

Kidman's makeup is blatantly ridiculous. But if you get past that, her performance is also okay. Again - nowhere near great (the glaring gaps in her character progression aren't *completely* the script's fault). But okay. In the scenes with her daughter in particular, she's operating far above the level of the script.

re. Vice > Another case where I'm surprised at the unreserved vitriol. Again: nowhere near year-best, or even week-best material. But that mid-movie credit sequence was one of the biggest laughs I had in ages.

Another parallel to Destroyer though: the makeup is just so distracting. You always know it's Bale underneath. No matter how much he's trying to look like he's not purely awards-baiting, it's impossible to buy it because...well, his entire face is lathered in globs of pure awards bait.

Amy Adams on the other hand, wasn't at all bad. But god I hope this isn't her "Oscar" performance. Like Kidman, she elevates a couple of scenes to make someone very much written as a "Character" seem slightly more human. But this is far from career-best work.

Not that I'm on the Regina King hype-train either - I've seen King give at least three better performances than Beale Street - but I do hope she wins nonetheless. So that Amy can win for something better in the near future.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergoran

Saw The Favorite and thought it was good. To me Colman was supporting and Stone was lead.

Rachel was somewhere in-between.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

"Holmes & Watson" looks so stupid and I want to see it. Those two (Reilly & Farell) are so reliably stupidly funny that I can't imagine this isn't amongst their greats. Definite watch when it gets to video.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Nathaniel has acknowledged when something Kidman has done hasn't been strong--many critics gave Kidman stellar reviews for Destroyer, and I think she's deserving of them. Let's not make like he blindly gives a thumbs up to everything she does when that is not the case.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

"Mary Poppins Returns" with my mom and it was delightful. It hews a little too close to the original (an annoying and increasingly Disney-specific problem), but there is such energy, joy, and artistry in it that I couldn't help but be swept away. Yes, MVP Sandy Powell.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

This weekend I saw On the Basis of Sex, which was enjoyable but felt pretty by-the-numbers.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

Saw MARY POPPINS RETURNS and thought it was okayish. Too determined to be charning and the effort always showed. My biggest problem was that they somehow managed to underuse Emily Blunt. She shows terrific potential in the part but is often just...standing there in the background, with a look that hovers between mild disapproval and magical encouragement? It seemed like the dad and even the kids had more lines. Also, too much dialogue about banking.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterER

Saw AQUAMAN because why not. It was not good, but not terrible either. I also saw BEN IS BACK which was a pleasant surprise. I liked it a lot more than BEAUTIFUL BOY and might even prefer it over BOY ERASED. Hedges is terrific as is Roberts. I realize that Julia's face soothes me for some reason.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Saw Aquaman. Mamoa can in fact destroy my insides.

Also, re: the film's visual effects not being in contention for the Oscars. I actually believe the editing completely had something to do with it.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterChris


Agreed. Not sure how Nathaniel could get called out for giving Destroyer and Kidman a thumbs up, when it's got generally positive reviews overall (75% Rotten Tomatoes) and dozens of other critics have called it a career best performance from Kidman. Nathaniel's feelings about Destroyer and Kidman in it are in line with dozens of other critics. No need for 'Kidmaniac' conspiracy theories about unfounded bias

Get the feeling a few people here are a teensy bit salty about Kidman's non-stop critical resurgence and ubiquity and are taking it out on poor Nathaniel. Lol!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSully

I'm team Kidman hence paying the 18 bucks on New Year's Day to see Destroyer theatrically. It's a generic forgettable Netflix movie which wouldn't see a theatrical release were Kidman not the lead. One of the most implausible things about Kidman in the role is her frail frame having to endure and inflect so much violence. Walking around with meth face and she can barely function. Anyone else remember why she had to give the dying fat kid a hand-job?

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I saw Capernaum and loved it. The lead actor is amazing, especially for someone so young, but the whole film is a great combination of devastating story and thrilling filmmaking. If this, Roma and Shoplifting are all nominated for Foreign Film I have no idea which one I'd vote for.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

It rained so I watched

Beautiful Boy - this has some good acting but is kind of oddly repetitive and rambling. It could have used a heavy edit. Ben is Back is a better film, but I find these movies keep forgetting to show the young people in treatment to reveal the deeper reasons why they are using drugs (beyond "I feel happier when I'm high").

Leave No Trace -- this movie is excellent. Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, and the director, Debra Granik, did a great job.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

On the Basis of Sex was quite good and I love me some Felicity Jones since Like Crazy. I understand she is seen as bland by others, but different strokes I guess. The film has a lot of great moments if 'great moments' is construed as pivotal moments for social justice. Love that scene about 'radical social change' and how Felicity Jones finds new ways to make that phrase sound ridiculous and important.

Saw BlacKkKlansman for the first time. It had a lot of funny dialogues and scenes. The acting can be delightfully arch at times; I thought the best in show was Jasper Pääkkönen as Felix Kendrick (I have been watching Vikings too). Can't decide if the film is it's-so-dreadful-it's-addicting, or years-later-you'll-realise-it's-actually-good, but it is so watchable nonetheless. I plan to see it again.

I tried to like Wildlife but except for Carey Mulligan and Ed Oxenbould, I wasn't as moved by the film. It's a bit uneven in terms of direction: the film gets the excitement and mood right in some scenes, then followed by scenes without much life going on. I am sure Paul Dano will find his footing as director someday but I wish this was directed by Lee Chang-dong or Isabel Coixet.

Caught Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery on-stage. Lucas Hedges and Joan Allen are amazing but Elaine May is outstanding! At curtain call, audience members were cheering while wiping away tears.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

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