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Aquaman makes the biggest splash at box office

Aquaman, which stars Jason Momoa in a title role infused with new swagger by director James Wan, raked in US$67.4m in the US over the weekend.

Los Angeles

WARNER Bros' latest release, Aquaman, made the biggest waves in North American cinema theatres over the weekend with US$67.4 million in ticket sales, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations estimated on Sunday.

That put it well ahead of two other new holiday-timed releases, as Disney's Mary Poppins Returns took in US$22.2 million for the three-day weekend, flying slightly higher than Paramount's Bumblebee at US$21 million.

Together, the three helped boost the year's domestic box-office revenue towards a record US$11.8 billion, Hollywood Reporter said.

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Aquaman stars Jason Momoa in a title role infused with new swagger by director James Wan, with Variety magazine calling Momoa's Aquaman "a bare-chested Hawaiian super-stud with long, shaggy surfer hair and all-over tribal tattoos".

The look seems to work: The film has already taken in some US$410 million outside North America. Mary Poppins, while lacking truly boffo opening numbers, is expected to follow past musicals in enjoying a long box-office run.

The sequel to the 1964 movie stars Emily Blunt as the stern but kind-hearted nanny (Julie Andrews in the original), backed by Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. Dick Van Dyke, Mary Poppins' Cockney-accented friend in the original film, makes a cameo.

Bumblebee, a prequel to the Transformers movies, stars Hailee Steinfeld and WWE wrestler John Cena. It drew a lofty 94 per cent rating from Rotten Tomatoes as all three of the top grossing new movies earned strong A- ratings from CinemaScores.

In fourth was Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, taking in US$16.7 million. It has Peter Parker making way for Miles Morales as a black, Latino Spider-Man.

Fifth spot went to The Mule from Warner Bros, at US$9.3 million. Clint Eastwood, who at the ripe old age of 88 says this will be his last acting part, directs and takes the lead role as a destitute 90-year-old who turns to transporting cocaine for a Mexican drug cartel. Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were: Dr Seuss's The Grinch (US$8.2 million); Second Act (US$6.5 million); "Ralph Breaks the Internet" (US$4.6 million); "Welcome to Marwen" (US$2.4 million); and "Mary Queen of Scots" (US$2.2 million). AFP