Weekend Box Office: ‘The Upside’ Surprises With $19.5 Million, ‘Aquaman’ Spears a Billion Worldwide

     January 13, 2019

the-upside-movie-sliceThe Upside has turned into a bit of a box office surprise, wheeling itself right out a Weinstein Company death hole to debut with $19.5 million, good enough to finally knock Aquaman off its throne after four weeks. James Wan‘s underwater DC Comics epic isn’t exactly drowning, though. Not only did Aquaman nab another $17 million domestically, but also surfed past the $1 billion mark worldwide on Saturday night, the first DC film to do so since Christopher Nolan‘s 2012 Batman flick, The Dark Knight Rises.

The lesson here? Put Nicole Kidman in your movies, ya Hollywood nerds.

But seriously, The Upside‘s success story comes in well above expectations, with most predictions placing it firmly in the $9-11 million range. The film—which stars Bryan Cranston as a paraplegic billionaire who hires an ex-con (Kevin Hart) as his caretaker—bounced from the Weinstein Company to Lantern to STX Entertainment, who re-cut the film to get a PG-13 rating. The Upside also debuted as its co-lead Kevin Hart finds himself embarking on an apology tour after old homophobic tweets got him booted from Oscar hosting duties. The film’s opening marks the first STX film to debut at number one and the entertainment company’s second-best premiere ever behind 2012’s Bad Moms ($23 million).

Rounding out the top three is Sony’s A Dog’s Way Home, which premiered exactly aligned with predictions for $11.3 million. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse continues to remain consistent, falling only 31% in its fifth weekend to web another $9 million. In its sophomore outing, Escape Room climbed another $8.9 million to $32 million total, a win for the micro-budgeted horror flick from director Adam Robitel.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex expanded nationwide over the weekend and landed impressively in eighth place with $6.2 million. Barry Jenkins‘ Oscar-hopeful If Beale Street Could Talk also expanded, hauling in another $2.3 million from 1,334 theaters.

Keep an eye on movies like Beale Street as we approach the January 22 Oscar nomination announcement. The drama, plus films like Adam McKay‘s Vice ($3.2 million this weekend), Peter Farrelly‘s Green Book ($2 million this weekend), and Rob Marshall‘s Mary Poppins Returns ($7.2 million this weekend) could be looking for a boost at the box office that comes with Academy Award recognition.

Check out the weekend’s top 10 estimates below, and be back here next week to see if M. Night Shyamalan can shatter expectations with Glass.

Rank Title Weekend Total
1. The Upside $$19,590,000 $$19,590,000
2. Aquaman    $17,265,000 $287,861,781
3. A Dog’s Way Home       $11,300,000 $11,300,000
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $9,000,000 $147,775,445
5. Escape Room     $8,900,000 $32,432,931
6. Mary Poppins Returns      $7,215,000 $150,656,985
7. Bumblebee      $6,775,000 $108,469,977
8. On the Basis of Sex     $6,227,000 $10,557,847
9. The Mule   $5,545,000 $90,578,396
10. Vice     $3,278,644 $35,936,486

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