UPDATED 12:09PM: with more preview figures: One Saturday 7PM show at roughly 1,225 theaters last night of Warner Bros./DC’s Aquaman made a huge $2M $2.9M in paid sneaks, a figure that beats the $1.86M earned by Amazon Prime’s previous collaboration with Sony a year ago on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. If we were to rank Aquaman on this weekend’s B.O. chart it would file in 13th 10th place ahead of Universal’s Green Book ($2.78M at 1,215 theaters), Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite ($2.5M weekend at 439 theaters) and Fox/New Regency’s Widows ($1.2M at 1,228).
Already, Aquaman has caught plenty of fish abroad with an overseas box office of $261M before officially opening stateside.
Paid sneaks, more than packed free previews, are truly an indicator to a major studio about the size of the demand for their upcoming release. While there’s no barometer of success when it comes to paid sneaks, recent preview scenarios have yielded big hits at the B.O.: In addition to Jumanji 2 (opening $36.1M), Sony had Amazon paid previews on Hotel Transylvania 3 ($1.3M previews off Friday 3PM sneaks, $44M opening) and Warner’s A Star Is Born which minted $1.35M from Tuesday/Wednesday previews). Recently we hear that last weekend’s Saturday sneaks of Paramount’s Bumblebee made around $500K at 325 sites, for an impressive $1,5K screen average.
Atom Tickets partnered with Amazon Prime and Warners as the exclusive paid sneaks retailer whereby Prime members could purchase up to 10 tickets each for last night’s show.
For Atom, Aquaman became their top ticket-seller ever in the movie’s first 24 hours on sale (reported on Nov. 20), and to date the title has shattered the mobile movie ticket retailer’s record for top pre-sales of all time, besting Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Black Panther. Note Atom is younger than Fandango in regards to its movie ticket sales history and doesn’t canvas the same swath of theaters as its rival. In the first 24-hours of sales on Fandango (back on Nov. 20), Aquaman pre-sales eclipsed that of Venom ($80.2M opening weekend) and Mission: Impossible –Fallout ($61.2M).
Given how Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, many are looking at the five-day path that Aquaman is going to burn in its opening. Right now, the James Wan-directed movie, which has a 70% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, is expected to post a $57M-$62M three-day to lead all films next weekend, and a five day around $115M. Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns opens Wednesday and many think its first five days will be around $57M-$62M while Paramount’s Bumblebee is seeing a $35M-$40M Friday-Tuesday 5-day start.