Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Miles Morales Peter Parker Gwen Stacy
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Credit: Sony Pictures

Box office: Into the Spider-Verse swings toward top spot with $35.4 million; Aquaman hooks big catch overseas

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Dec 16, 2018, 10:20 AM EST

After a long string of mediocre sequels and reboots, Sony has hit Spider-Man gold once again with Into the Spider-Verse.

In addition to a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, the new animated Marvel movie is wall-crawling its way toward $35.4 million during its first weekend at the domestic box office, easily sticking toward the No. 1 spot. Since the feature cost around $90 million to produce, the film will need to swing a little harder overseas if it wants to break even during its debut. If that doesn't happen, however, it can easily do so in North America over the next week.

Directed by Rodney Rothman, Bob Persichetti, and Peter Ramsey, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse centers around Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who, after being bitten by a radioactive arachnid, learns that there are numerous Spider-People throughout the multiverse. The script was penned by Rothman and executive producer Phil Lord.

To stop reality from tearing itself apart, Miles must ally himself with Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). Rounding out the all-star voice cast are Brian Tyree Henry (Miles' dad, Jefferson Davis), Mahershala Ali (Miles' uncle, Prowler), Luna Lauren Velez (Miles' mom, Rio Morales), Lily Tomlin (Aunt May), and Liev Schreiber (Kingpin).

Also opening this weekend is Peter Jackson's adaptation of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines book series. While not as well received as Spider-Verse (it's got a 27% on RT), the movie's eye-popping CGI spectacle of roving cities will be enough to nab it the fifth spot at the domestic box office with $7.5 million. Even so, that's not a great opening for a project that cost $100 million - $150 million to make.

Mortal Engines Peter Jackson

Credit: Universal Pictures

Co-written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, the film was directed by Jackson's longtime creative collaborator, Christian Rivers. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where mobile cities must devour one another for precious resources. Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, and Robert Sheehan are all a part of the cast.

As Christmas fast approaches, Illumination's animated iteration of Dr. Seuss' The Grinch will steal the third spot with $12 million. Ralph Breaks the Internet is on course for fourth, courtesy of a sizable $9 million. Respectively, both films have made $230 million and $146 million at the domestic box office. Internationally, The Grinch is at $333.8 million, while Ralph is at $246.8 million.

Once Upon a Deadpool, just a PG-13 recut of Deadpool 2 that uses The Princess Bride as a framing device, is expected to make a meager $4 million. Each dollar spent on a ticket for the re-release will be donated to the "Fudge Cancer" charity.

The competition will get extremely fierce next weekend, what with the debuts of three big studio films: Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, Warner Bros' Aquaman, and Paramount's Bumblebee.

While we're on the subject of Aquaman, the upcoming DCEU offering has already soaked into more than $200 million from foreign markets like China, Mexico, Russia, and Brazil. James Wan's superhero flick also opened a smidge early for Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S., netting a slick $2.9 million before its wide release in America. As a result, it was technically the 10th-highest-grossing film in the States this weekend.  Moreover, it beat out Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which also opened early for Prime subscribers last year.

(via Variety 1 & 2The Hollywood Reporter 1 & 2, Deadline, & Box Office Mojo)