Box Office: ‘Into The Spider-Verse’ Captures $35M, ‘The Mule’ Surprises As ‘Mortal Engines’ Breaks Down

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (review)- $35.4M
Sony’s revival of the Spider-Man universe can’t include a live-action Spider-Man movie, but an animated one? That’s all good, and lucky for them because Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best reviewed movies of the year, and now has won the weekend with $35M. This was by no means a sure thing, even following in the wake of Sony’s success with Venom. Animated superhero movies have always been a tough sell, but that was before the modern superhero boom. Also working in the film’s favor was that it appealed to more than the traditional audience. As we saw with Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, and others, cultural diversity DOES matter and Sony’s decision to go with Miles Morales as the lead character rather than Peter Parker (although he does play a significant role) may be one of the smartest since they launched this cinematic universe.
2. The Mule– $17.2M
Perhaps due to the scathing reviews for Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris, Warner Bros. decided to keep his latest film The Mule under wraps, limiting the number of press screenings to select markets. Apparently, it was a good idea as the film opened in 2600 theaters to $17.2M, decent business for an adult-skewing $50M thriller. This being Eastwood’s first acting role since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve, and co-starring with Bradley Cooper, surely didn’t hurt matters. This marks the third best opening weekend of Eastwood’s acting career, and I guess I really need to go see this now.
3. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch– $11.5M/$239.2M
4. Ralph Breaks the Internet– $9.5M/$154.4M
5. Mortal Engines (review)- $7.5M
Breaking down right from the start was Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Mortal Engines, a $100M sci-fi steampunk epic that couldn’t separate itself from others in the failing YA genre. The film isn’t great but I thought the amazing visuals, plus Jackson’s reputation, would be enough to push this thing to a decent debut. I still think the timing was all wrong for this as there are too many high-profile releases for a movie like this to break through. I would still suggest checking it out on IMAX…if you can get a discounted ticket or something.
6. Creed II– $5.3M/$104.8M
Creed II surpassed the $100M mark domestically, with director Steven Caple Jr. joining Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), and Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer 2) as the fourth black filmmaker to have a $100M movie this year.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody– $4.1M/$180.4M
8. Instant Family– $3.7M/$60.2M
9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald– $3.6M/$151.6M
10. Green Book– $2.7M/$24.6M