That put it well ahead of two other new holiday-timed releases, as Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” took in $23.5 million for the three-day weekend, flying slightly higher than Paramount’s “Bumblebee” at $21.7 million.
“Aquaman” stars Jason Momoa in a title role infused with new swagger by director James Wan, with Variety calling Momoa’s Aquaman “a bare-chested Hawaiian super-stud with long, shaggy surfer hair and all-over tribal tattoos.”
“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 John Cena. It drew a lofty 94 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes while 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 $16.6 million. It has Peter Parker making way for Miles Morales as a black, Latino Spider-Man.
And fifth spot went to “The Mule” from Warner Bros., at $9.5 million. Clint Eastwood, who at 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.