181217 spiderverse
Image Credit: Sony Pictures animation

After a slow two weeks for new movies, fresh wide releases dominated the top five at the box office.

Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ premiered in first place with $35.4 million (Dh130 million), in the range of analyst predictions of $32 million to $39 million, according to figures from measurement firm Comscore.

“I’m extremely pleased with our opening,” said Adrian Smith, the studio’s president of North American distribution. “It’s a record animated opening of all time for December and I could not be more pleased.”

The film follows the origin story of new Spider-Man Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino Brooklynite who assumes the mantle after Peter Parker is killed in battle.

The film earned rave reviews with audiences and critics, garnering an A+ CinemaScore rating and a 97 per cent “fresh” score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. It even received a pre-release Golden Globe nomination for best animated picture.

“The response from audiences and critics have been through the roof,” said Smith. “The CinemaScore is higher than all of the previous Spider-Man films. We’ve had great response and with all of the awards nominations we’ve received, it really speaks to how much people are liking it.”

In second place, Warner Bros’ ‘The Mule’ opened with $17.2 million, in range of analyst predictions of $12 million to $20 million.

Directed by Clint Eastwood (who also stars), the film follows a geriatric drug mule working for a Mexican cartel. It earned an A- rating on CinemaScore and a 63 per cent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Universal’s ‘Dr Seuss’ The Grinch’ came in at No 3, adding $11.6 million in its sixth weekend for a cumulative $239.3 million.

At No 4, Disney’s ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ added $9.6 million in its fourth week for a cumulative $154.5 million.

Rounding out the top five, Universal’s ‘Mortal Engines’ debuted with $7.5 million, a disappointing result for the $100-million film. Analysts projected a weak $10-million to $15-million opening.

An adaptation of a young adult novel of the same name, ‘Mortal Engines’ earned mixed reviews with audiences and critics with a B- CinemaScore and a 28 per cent “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.