‘Aquaman’ (Photo: Warner Bros)

Warner Bros’ Aquaman now ranks as the studio’s third highest grosser of all time after crossing the $US1 billion threshold worldwide last week the weekend.

The James Wan-directed blockbuster has amassed $1.02 billion – $257.8 million in the US and $732.4 million internationally – trailing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s $1.3 billion and The Dark Knight Rises‘ $1.08 billion.

So what does that say about the torrent of negativity, with more than one third of the critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes giving the DC Entertainment superhero adventure rotten ratings?

Either that those critics based their reviews purely on their assessment of the film’s entertainment value/artistic merits, willfully ignoring its obvious commercial appeal – or they are lousy judges of audiences’ tastes.

On Twitter, Wan thanked everyone who has “supported this underdog. For making this non-mainstream character (and yes — with leading POC individuals in front and behind the camera!) connect on such a huge global scale.”

The Jason Momoa starrer reigned in its third weekend in Australia, where the top 20 titles collectively harvested $19.9 million, down 27 per cent on the prior weekend, due mostly to the lack of new releases. Paramount’s Instant Family opened bigger than in the US and Tamil-language action-drama Petta resonated strongly.

WB’s double feature The Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen, an alternate content release, was D.O.A. on Sunday and there was minimal interest in Madman’s feature doc Pick of the Litter, although festival screenings boosted the total.

Aquaman grabbed $3.5 million, hoisting its total to $33.3 million, ahead of Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon, which drew $3.3 million in its second frame. The DreamWorks Animation title directed by Dean Deblois, featuring a voice cast led by Jay Baruchel, American Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler and Jonah Hill, has banked nearly $13 million.

Writer-director Sean Anders’ semi-autobiographical comedy Instant Family rang up almost $2.9 million and $3.16 million including previews. Pro-rata, that outperformed the US debut of $14.5 million, where the film starring Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro has mustered $66.6 million. “Instant Family was a refreshing opening with a good date for a new PG film,” says Wallis Cinemas consultant Bob Parr.

Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns whistled up $2.4 million in its second outing and its total topped $12 million. Rob Marshall’s fantasy-adventure-musical has scored $150.7 million in the US, beating Les Misérables and Mamma Mia!, and will soon overtake La La Land to become the fifth biggest live-action musical of all time. The global tally is $288 million, a respectable result but not the mammoth hit which the studio was expecting.

There’s no stopping Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which vaulted to $47.1 million after making $1.6 million in its 11th weekend. The Queen biopic has amassed $198.5 million in the US and an outstanding $574.2 million in the rest of the world, becoming Fox International’s fifth biggest release ever.

Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks the Internet fetched $1.6 million in its third, lifting the total to $15.6 million. The family comedy co-directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston has generated $434.1 million globally: $190.4 million in the US and $243.7 million internationally.

Paramount’s Bumblebee climbed to $10.3 million after making $655,000 in its fourth. The Transformers reboot directed by Travis Knight has grossed a ho-hum $108.4 million in the US but the saving grace is China’s $105.7 million in 10 days, a big chunk of international’s $256.3 million.

Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ascended to $11.6 million after taking $617,000 in its fifth. The superhero movie directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman has minted a tidy $302.4 million globally.

Coasting along on word-of-mouth, Fox’s The Favourite commanded $494,000 in its third, easing by 25 per cent, to reach $3.1 million. Cinema Nova general manager Kristian Connelly predicts the ribald 18th Century drama co-written by Tony McNamara will be one of the top five titles released in 2018 at his location. In the US, Yorgos Lanthimos’ film has earned $21.5 million.

Adam McKay’s Vice, which features Christian Bale as the former US Vice President Dick Cheney, reached $3 million after taking $443,000 in its third lap for eOne.

Directed by Karthik Subbaraj and starring Rajinikanth, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Sethupathy and Trisha Krishnan, Petta garnered $416,000 on 34 screens, notching the weekend’s highest per-screen average, for MKS Retail.

The DC Comics-based The Death of Superman and the sequel Reign of the Supermen drummed up just $39,000 on 117 screens.

Directed by former NBC reporters Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, Pick of the Litter, which follows the rigorous process of training and selecting Labrador puppies to become guide dogs for the blind, took $70,000 on 78 screens but a respectable $218,000 with revenues from multiple festivals. Outdoor screenings where dogs were invited with their owners did well for Wallis Cinemas, unlike ticket sales at hard tops.

US writer-director Nicolas Pesce’s horror/thriller Piercing, which stars Mia Wasikowaka and Christopher Abbott, scraped up $7,400 on seven screens for Rialto and Monster Fest.

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