"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" dethroned "Ralph Breaks the Internet" as king of the box office: It brought in a solid $35.4 million during its first three days of release.
That's not the best opening for an animated film this year, but it is the best for one opening in December. It edges out “Sing,” which debuted with $35 million in December 2016.
"Into the Spider-Verse" uses a mix of CGI and hand-drawn animation to bring several incarnations of Spidey to life. Audiences gave it a glowing A+ CinemaScore. It's also earned a Golden Globe nomination for best animated feature, and boasts an impressive 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Clint Eastwood's drug-smuggling drama “The Mule” opened in second place with $17 million. It's his first aging gig since 2012’s “Trouble With the Curve” (which he didn't direct). Critics were fairly “meh” on it, giving it a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences liked it slightly more: It currently has a 74% audience score.
"The Mule" performed better than Eastwood's other 2018 film, the docudrama "The 15:17 to Paris," which opened to $12,554,286 in February.
Meanwhile, the Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi epic “Mortal Engines” is no “Lord of the Rings.” It had a disastrous opening with only $7.5 million from 3,103 venues.
The film, based on a YA novel, is expected to lose over $100 million. The reviews were also terrible: The New York Post called it “a wearying blast of CGI and genre-cribbing,” the AV Club said it was “a headache-inducing spectacle,” and RogerEbert.com described it as “truly crummy.”
“Once Upon a Deadpool,” a PG-13 re-release of “Deadpool 2” with a few new and alternate scenes, picked up $2.6 million on 1,566 screens. That adds to the $322 million North America take and $736 million global box office of the R-rated original.
Earning the best screen average of the weekend was Barry Jenkins’s “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which debuted in four theaters with $219,173. That comes out to $54,793 per location. Based on James Baldwin’s novel, the awards contender has already received a number of honors, including Golden Globe nominations for Regina King, Jenkins's screenplay, and Best Drama.
Also in limited release: Sony Pictures Classics’ "Capernaum" made $27,588 from three screens, averaging $9,196 per location. The drama about a boy who sues his parents for giving birth to him won the Jury Prize at Cannes. It's also Lebanon’s official entry for foreign language film at the Oscars.
Lars von Trier's serial killer film “The House that Jack Built,” which prompted more than 100 walkouts at its Cannes premiere, didn't drum up much interest. It opened at 33 theaters with a measly $40,000 for a $1,225 per-screen average.
This weekend’s total haul came in 61% below the same frame in 2017, according to Comscore, when “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ruled the box office.
Here are the top 10 estimates for December 14 - 16, 2018
1. "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse," $35,400,000
2. "The Mule," $17,210,000
3. "Dr. Seuss's The Grinch" (2018), $11,580,000
4. "Ralph Breaks the Internet," $9,589,000
5. "Mortal Engines," $7,501,000
6. "Creed II," $5,398,830
7. "Bohemian Rhapsody," $4,125,000
8. "Instant Family," $3,720,000
9. "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," $3,650,000
10. "Green Book," $2,780,000
[Via Variety, BoxOfficeMojo.com]