With Aquaman being the first DC film to feature ILM VFX sitting very comfortably in first place at the North American box office and the latest Transformers film Bumblebee nabbing third slot just behind Mary Poppins returns, it’s set to be yet another banner year for the worlds premier VFX house.
Worldwide, the year certainly belongs to ILM. Currently, five of the top ten films of the year feature ILM VFX (the runaway number one Avengers: Infinity War with $2,048.7 followed by Black Panther with $1,346.9, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in 3rd with $1,304.9 and Ant-Man and the Wasp in 10th with $622.7). Aquaman is sitting in 7th place after just 2 weeks with $748.8, looking good to be the first DC film (outside of the Christopher Nolan Batman films) to break the billion and finish the year in 5th behind The Incredibles 2.
11th position sees Ready Player One on $582.9 and in 20th place Solo: A Star Wars Story on $392.9 worldwide. The last three Christmas periods have seen Star Wars films bring in north of $1 billion dollars each worldwide, and the perceived wisdom is that Solo was released in May to avoid stealing any of the box office clout of Disney’s much-anticipated (and absolutely fantastic) home grown hit Mary Poppins Returns. However, that unwisely dropped it into the wake of Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Deadpool 2 and just ahead of the release of Jurassic World:Fallen Kingdom. Under marketed and arriving just 5 months after The Last Jedi, it never stood much of a chance.
However, after 12 days on worldwide release, Mary Poppins Returns has only managed to bring in $173,329,758. To put that into some kind of context, The Last Jedi brought in $220,009,584 on its opening three days in the United States alone. It would appear that the real winners here are Warner Brothers Aquaman ($188,785,000 in North America), Paramount’s Bumblebee (currently on $66,778,020) and Sony’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse in its third week on $103,643,730.
One can’t help but wonder how well Solo would have done in this frame, with Aquaman, Bumblebee and Spider-Man almost certainly opting to steer clear by a few weeks either way and the counter programming of Poppins offering an alternative for families to watch. Sadly, we will never know. Instead we look ahead to this time next year to see just how much moolah Episode IX will bring in to round off the Skywalker saga.