After swimming out to a record-breaking start at the Chinese box office, the superheroic tidal wave known as Jason Momoa's Aquaman is now preparing to dominate North American theaters as well.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the James Wan-directed Aquaman earned a substantial $9 million at the North American box office on Thursday night, despite facing the stiff competition of Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, and the highly-celebrated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. When you factor in the money that Aquaman made with its one-night Amazon showings last Saturday, the film is already sitting at a $13.7 million gross domestically. The $9 million opening night puts Aquaman's opening in the same ballpark as Doctor Strange ($9.4 million), Venom ($10 million), and Wonder Woman ($11 million).
That hefty total is only the cherry on top for Warner Bros. and DC, as Aquaman has been a monstrous performer overseas. As of now, Aquaman has already earned more than $300 million in international markets, with most of that money coming from China.
With these numbers, Aquaman is expected to win the crowded Christmas weekend, coming out ahead of the other two big openers of the holiday season.
Disney's Mary Poppins Returns opened on Wednesday to try and get ahead of the competition, but it's still falling short of the buzz built by Aquaman. Led by Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns earned around $4 million on Thursday night, bringing its two-day total to $8.8 million.
Also competing with Aquaman is Travis Knight's Bumblebee, a spinoff of the Transformers franchise. While nearly every movie in the blockbuster series has been panned by critics, Bumblebee has broken the formula, receiving more acclaim than both Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns. That buzz is certainly helping its cause, but it won't top the other two this weekend. The film earned a solid $2.1 million during its preview night.
It will be a major battle at the box office this weekend, but Aquaman will likely drown the competition when all is said and done.
Which of these movies have you been most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!