“Box Office USA: ‘Aquaman 2’ Hits Rock Bottom – Disappointing Finale for DC in Theaters

The pre-holiday weekend in American theaters passed under the sign of disappointment. Potential viewers were in no hurry to go to the cinemas; instead, they preferred to spend their time on last-minute shopping or at home. Most of the American releases had openings worse than predicted, while foreign films reaped the benefits. Four productions from Japan and India made it into the top ten.

As expected, the spectacle from Warner Bros., ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ claimed the number one spot. However, this is the only positive news. The latest film from the old DC universe recorded a disastrous opening. Current estimates put it at only $28.1 million!

This result is nearly $40 million worse than the debut of the first ‘Aquaman.’ What’s worse, it’s only $3 million higher than the opening of ‘Blue Beetle’ earlier this year! Under normal circumstances, this would imply a final tally for ‘Lost Kingdom’ in the range of $60-70 million. Since it’s the holiday season, ‘Aquaman 2’ will ultimately earn more. However, will it reach $100 million?

The second new release of the weekend was ‘Sing 2.’ The animated film had a modest debut, earning $12.3 million so far. This result is significantly worse than most major animations this year, including the recent ‘Wish.’ However, the fact that ‘Sing 2′ has an A rating in CinemaScore works in favor of Illumination’s production. This means it should maintain a stable audience this week and ultimately earn much more than the opening suggests.

R-rated comedies still aren’t on the radar of American audiences’ interests. Not even Sydney Sweeney in the cast could help. ‘Not You, Only You’ earned a mere $6.2 million on its debut. This is a worse result than most R-rated comedy openings this year. Only July’s ‘Free Guy’ had a weaker start ($5.8 million).

On the positive side, A24 has reasons to be pleased. ‘The Steel Brothers’ earned a solid $5 million and received an A- in CinemaScore. Ultimately, it could be one of the better-selling premieres for the studio this year.

Indian cinema celebrated a great triumph. The three-hour spectacle from Tollywood, ‘Salaar: Part 1 Ceasefire,’ earned an excellent $5.5 million. Meanwhile, the Bollywood film ‘Dunk’ raked in $2.6 million and pushed ‘Poor Things’ out of the top ten, although Lanthimos’ film’s revenues increased by 65% compared to last weekend.

The results of the second weekend for ‘Wonka’ were also a disappointment for Warner, as the film experienced a significant 55% drop, a decline much larger than those seen by December musicals in recent years (the largest being ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ with -44%).

As Christmas falls on a Monday, three more new releases will enter American theaters today. Warner Bros. will introduce the musical ‘The Color Purple.’ MGM, owned by Amazon, invites audiences to ‘The Boys in the Boat’ directed by George Clooney. Neon, on the other hand, will showcase Adam Driver in the biographical film ‘Ferrari.'”

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