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story.lead_photo.caption Jason Momoa has the lead role in Warner Bros.’ action adventure Aquaman. It came in first at last weekend’s box office and made about $30.7 million.

There's always a bigger fish -- unless you're Aquaman.

The Warner Bros.-DC Comics movie starring Jason Momoa continued to lead ticket sales last weekend, taking in an estimated $30.7 million at the end of a lazy week at the box office. The movie, now in its fourth week in theaters, put a triumphant cap on Hollywood's 2018 box office comeback. And it has continued to do well overseas, where it brought in $56.2 million during the weekend, according to the studio.

Worldwide it has made $940.7 million, making it by far the highest grossing film in the modern DC Extended Universe slate (No. 2 is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with $873.6 million). It could soon surpass $1 billion.

But while the staying power of Aquaman at the top spot points to the film's continued success, it also points to the fact that there simply isn't much competition during Hollywood's post-holiday exhale.

The only new movie in the top 10 last week, Columbia's Escape Room, exceeded most analysts' expectations and landed in the No. 2 spot with $18 million in sales. The thriller -- directed by Adam Robitel -- capitalizes on the phenomenon of real-life escape room puzzle games, where players (or corporate employees on a team-building trip) are trapped in a room and have to complete a series of challenges to get out. Escape Room features a deadly version. While its opening weekend sales were modest beside those of Aquaman, the $18 million is a win for Columbia given the movie's $9 million budget.

The film stars Taylor Russell, Deborah Ann Woll and Logan Miller. It got mixed reviews from critics and audiences, but that didn't seem to matter when it came down to the bottom line.

"Movies that open in the early part of January don't get a lot of respect, but this was a great profit maker," said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Columbia took perfect advantage of what is typically a marketplace devoid of newcomers and made box office hay out of it."

There were few surprises elsewhere in the top 10.

Disney's Mary Poppins Returns landed in third place in its third weekend with $15.8 million. The nostalgic musical has earned $138.7 million domestically and competed for -- and lost -- four Golden Globe Awards on Sunday evening. Globally, it has made $257.9 million.

Columbia's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took fourth place with $13 million. It took home the Golden Globe for best animated feature.

Paramount's Bumblebee rounded out the top five with $12.8 million.

The Dick Cheney bio-pic Vice fell only 25 percent in its second weekend, adding $5.8 million to take seventh place. Vice, starring Golden Globe winner Christian Bale as the former vice president, has now earned $29.8 million, but still has an uphill climb to even meet its $60 million production budget.

Holmes and Watson, with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, solidifying its status as a flop during its second week in theaters, came in 10th with $3.4 million.

In limited release, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg bio-pic On the Basis of Sex continued to perform well, with $1.7 million from 112 locations, before expanding nationwide this weekend. And the Bollywood film Simmba, playing in 292 locations, grossed $1 million, bringing its North American total to $4.1 million.

Eleven days into the new year and coming off of a record 2018, the box office overall is running a little behind (5 percent) where the totals were last year, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle were still printing money. But that could all change when Glass opens on Jan. 18. The M. Night Shyamalan film could be a January record-breaker.

MovieStyle on 01/11/2019

Print Headline: Aquaman unsinkable; Escape Room locks No. 2


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