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The Christmas holiday is a big one for moviegoing and this year's was especially fruitful for the DCEU's latest film, Aquaman. After an opening weekend where the Atlantean hero beat back a host of worthy contenders to earn $67.4 million and claim first place at the box office, Aquaman continued to make waves on Christmas Day. In fact, Aquaman passed a box office milestone to become one of only six films to make over $20 million on Christmas Day.
After opening presents, audiences were clearly in the mood for the underwater spectacle and they gave the DC film a present of its own with $22 million in Christmas Day box office sales according to Deadline. Aquaman now takes its place as one of the most successful Christmas Day movies alongside Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which holds the record with $49.3 million.
It's Christmas Day haul now lifts Aquaman to $101 million in its first five days, which is almost exactly where tracking had it pegged. If you factor in the preview showings for the film, Aquaman stands at $105.7 million. This five day take, like Aquaman's opening weekend, still lags behind Justice League and the other DCEU films, but unlike Justice League, which made $111.9 million in five days, Aquaman has a little more going for it.
For one thing, Aquaman is viewed as a better film than Justice League, both critically and with audiences. Aquaman bested Justice League's "B+" CinemaScore with an "A-", which is the same score this past weekend's other two big releases also enjoyed. In addition, Justice League opened opposite lesser competition than Aquaman and the latter will have the benefit of the post-holiday, year-end moviegoing season, with clear skies and very little competition well into January.
Aquaman is also going over like gangbusters overseas and combined with its domestic total thus far, James Wan's film has already earned a half a billion dollars, which already puts it at 75% of what Justice League made worldwide in its entire run.
Aquaman wasn't the only film hoping to find something other than coal in its stocking on Christmas Day, as the weekend's other huge movies as well as two new releases also hoped to find themselves on the Nice List.
Mary Poppins Returns came in 2nd on Christmas day behind Aquaman, earning $11.5 million and putting it at $50.2 million domestically overall. Behind Mary was Bumblebee at $8.9 million. The Transformers spinoff has $34.2 million domestically thus far and is looking at a total domestic run of $120 million.
The other Christmas Day new releases were the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy Holmes & Watson and Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic Vice. Holmes & Watson debuted in fourth behind Bumblebee with $6.4 million but faces an uphill climb thanks to a brutal "D+" CinemaScore. As for the somewhat divisive Vice, it opened in 7th with $4.77 million and received a "C+" CinemaScore.