'Aquaman' stays afloat atop North American box office

STRONG SWIMMER. Aquaman continues to dominate the US box office, having grossed about $750 million globally to date. Screenshot from Warner Bros. Pictures' Youtube account

STRONG SWIMMER. Aquaman continues to dominate the US box office, having grossed about $750 million globally to date. Screenshot from Warner Bros.

Pictures' Youtube account

HOLLYWOOD, United States – Aquaman displayed a powerful kick in North American theaters over the weekend, taking in an estimated $51.6 million to help close a record year for the movie sector, data showed Sunday, December 30 (Monday, December 31 in the Philippines).

The domestic film industry is projected to gross a record $11.9 billion this year, up 2.7% from last year, according to industry monitor Comscore.

Aquaman slipped just 24% from its opening weekend, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations reported, while some superhero films lose 50 or even 60% in week two. 

With Jason Momoa in the lead role, the Warner Bros. film has grossed nearly $750 million globally.

Disney's Mary Poppins Returns actually gained altitude in its second weekend, taking in $28 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, up 18 percent. 

The follow-up to the 1964 movie stars Emily Blunt as the stern but kind-hearted nanny, backed by the amiable Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame.

In third was Paramount's Bumblebee, a prequel to the Transformers movies, starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, at $20.5 million. The Washington Post credits the film with rising above earlier editions in the franchise to show "humor, emotion and a surprising amount of heart."

Fourth place went to Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, at $18.3 million. The film has drawn rave reviews – with a 97 score on the Rotten Tomatoes website – and has netted a Golden Globe nomination as Best Animated Picture.

In fifth was The Mule from Warner Bros., at $11.8 million, a 27% jump from last weekend. Clint Eastwood directs and takes the lead role – his last acting part, he has said – as a destitute 90-year-old who turns to transporting cocaine for a drug cartel.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:

Vice ($7.8 million)

Holmes & Watson ($7.3 million)

Second Act ($7.2 million)

Ralph Breaks the Internet ($6.5 million)

Dr. Seuss's The Grinch ($4.2 million)

Mary Queen of Scots ($2.7 million)

– Rappler.com