Despite taking the top spot at the Pre-Christmas weekend box office, DC superhero flick Aquaman rang in as the worst debut of any DC film to date.
Aquaman rode the wave taking in $72 million at the box office since its Friday opening, swamping the other films debuting this weekend and taking the top spot over films such as Bumblebee and Mary Poppins Returns.
Still, the Jason Momoa-starring Auqaman was not the opener in the U.S. that DC may have hoped for. Th Warner Bros. origin story’s debut pales in comparison to the $103 million that Wonder Woman earned in 2017, and the $170 million Ben Affleck’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice made in 2016. Aquaman even lost out to the much-derided Justice League, which earned $94 million in 2017, a take that at the time was labeled as a “stumble” for the DC movie universe. Indeed, according to Box Office Mojo, Aquaman is in sixth place for DC superhero film debuts.
Though Aquaman’s U.S. debut may have been less than stellar even if it met expectations, the film has already earned back its estimated $200 million production costs with its massive $350.7 million earnings overseas, where the film opened before hitting the U.S. market.
Far behind Aquaman’s opening came this weekend’s second-place earner, Bumblebee, the latest edition of the Transformers film franchise. With its $22 million opening, Bumblebee edged out Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which saw a $21 million debut.
The two films did not fare well, despite receiving a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 94 percent and 77 percent certified fresh ratings, respectively.
Hitting fourth place at the box office, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung in for another $17.45 million for its second weekend, bringing its earnings to about $65.6 million domestically.
Finally, still hanging in the top five after two weeks is Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, which found another $9 million at the box office this weekend bringing its eight-day total to just under $30 million.
Finally, debuting this weekend in seventh place was the fish-out-of-water-themed Second Act, starring Jennifer Lopez with a seven million dollar take since Friday.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.