Aquaman topples Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Aquaman topples Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
Jason Momoa, star of Aquaman. Photo: gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

The highly anticipated DC film “Aquaman” has submerged the critically-acclaimed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” at the UK box office. The film stars Jason Momoa, who starred in the first season of “Game of Thrones” as Khal Drogo. A product of HBO, “Game of Thrones” has become a global phenomenon.

The film about the oceanic superhero dethroned “Ralph Breaks The Internet”, the sequel to the animated hit, ‘Wreck It Ralph.” The animated sequel had held the top spot for two weeks and has been receiving highly favourable reviews from critics.

While Aquaman is topping the charts in the United Kingdom, it is still only the 16th highest opening of any film this year. The film has also received generally positive reviews, with particular praise directed at the action sequences and cast performances. Having said this, some critics have found the film’s running time to be too long, undermined by a somewhat messy story.

With the North American market yet to open, Aquaman’s box office receipts already sit at a whopping $266m. This successful box office opening can largely be attributed to the film opening in the massive Chinese market, coupled with exclusive previews for Amazon Prime customers.

So how far can Aquaman go?

Studios have been comparing Aquaman’s trajectory to “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, which used a similar approach in marketing and the Amazon Prime preview set-up. Currently, Aquaman is outpacing the Jumanji sequel, with the former bringing in $2.9m with its Amazon Prime preview event, whereas the latter brought in only $1.86m.

Really, only time will tell how well Aquaman will fare in ticket sales. After the historic second weekend drop off for the film “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”, anything is possible. What is on Aquaman’s side, however, are more favourable reviews and positive word of mouth, which the revamped Batman and Superman film lacked. The studio is confident the film can reap close to $100-$110m in its first three days in the North American market.

What’s happening elsewhere?

While “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” has slipped to second place, the studio shouldn’t be too concerned given the upcoming festive season. Studio executives are expecting the film, along with other animated films such as “The Grinch” to receive extensive playability over the holiday season.

On a more unfortunate note, “Mortal Engines”, a post-apocalyptic film, born from a screenplay by Fran Walsh and acclaimed Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson, has flopped. Based on Philip Reeve’s book series, backers of “Mortal Engines” are probably expecting a big loss on this one, particularly given the pricey production and low early sales.