Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took in an estimated $35.4 million during its opening weekend at the domestic box office, becoming the biggest ever animated movie to open in December. But another superhero flick is swimming its way into box office gold, too, with Aquaman doing gangbusters in overseas markets.
Into the Spider-Verse has hit on all cylinders with critics, comics fans, and general audiences alike. The newest entry into the wall-crawler’s film oeuvre features Hispanic spider-man character Miles Morales as he swings his way through the various Marvel Comics universes to learn how to be the best web-slinger he can be by taking lessons from Peter Parker, and a host of other Spidey heroes such as Gwen Stacey, Spider-man Noir, and even Spider-Ham. Morales also runs into such famed Spidey villains as Doc Ock, Scorpion, and Green Goblin.
Already Oscars watchers are saying that Into the Spider-Verse will be the animated movie to beat in next year’s Oscars awards.
With the estimated $35.4 million, earning itself the biggest opening weekend in film history for an animated movie opening in December (2016’s Sing, which took in $35.2 million, now sinks to second place).
Still, despite the smash box office opening, the film has quite a way to go before earning back its $90 million production costs.
Meanwhile, another superhero film from rival DC Comics has also found bountiful seas, at least in foreign markets. Aquaman has already soaked up an incredible $261 million in overseas markets such as China, Mexico, Russia, and Brazil. The film does not open in the U.S. until December 21, so this one already appears to be DC’s second smash comic book film after its 2017 film Wonder Woman.
As to the remainder of the U.S. box office, Clint Eastwood’s The Mule smuggled itself in as the second top earner for its opening weekend pulling in $5.85 million on Friday and bringing its three-day earnings to about $18 million.
In third place is Universal’s animated Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch in its fourth weekend earning another $12 million bringing its total to a whopping $240 million. While another animated film, Buena Vista’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, took fourth place for the weekend pulling in another $9 million to add to its $155 million take in the last three weeks.
Finally, in fifth place is the dud of the weekend. Director Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines, a strange tale of gigantic roving cities cannibalizing each other, based on the best-selling book by the same name, rolled in at fifth place at the domestic box office with a very disappointing $7 to $9 million take. It has a long, long way to go to make up its more than $100 million in production costs.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.