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‘Aquaman’ Rules Overseas Box Office With $94 Million in China

Aquaman” launched with a massive $93.6 million in China, marking the best start for a Warner Bros. title in that territory.

The superhero adventure — directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa as the king of the seven seas — isn’t opening in North America for another two weeks, but the studio wanted to get ahead of a crowded holiday frame overseas. Warner Bros. is expanding “Aquaman” to 40 more international territories next weekend, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil and Russia. It hits domestic theaters on Dec. 21.

Its opening in China also ranks as the biggest debut for a DC title, surpassing “Justice League” ($50.5 million), “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ($55.7 million), and “Wonder Woman” ($37.6 million). In three days, “Aquaman” has already eclipsed “Wonder Woman’s entire $93 million run in the Middle Kingdom.

“Aquaman” is the first feature film centered on the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and the cast also includes Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard, and Willem Dafoe. Of its $93.6 million start, $14 million came from Imax screens.

Meanwhile, “Bohemian Rhapsody” continues to pull in strong numbers at the foreign box office, generating $29 million this weekend for an overseas haul of $423 million. The Queen biopic has now passed “Deadpool 2” as Fox’s highest-grossing film of the year at the international box office. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is well on its way to crossing $600 million globally as its worldwide total currently stands at $596.5 million.

Universal’s “The Grinch” has also been able to reliably entice family crowds since it opened before Thanksgiving, stealing $25.8 million in 63 territories overseas during its fifth week of release. The animated adventure based on Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale has raked in $98.9 million internationally and $223.5 million at the domestic box office.

Elsewhere, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” earned $22 million in 80 markets, bringing its overseas tally to $423.3 million. That takes its global total to $568.5 million. The “Harry Potter” spinoff sequel saw the best returns in Japan with $5.4 million this weekend, followed by Germany ($3.1 million) and France ($2 million).

Rounding out the foreign box office, Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” earned $18 million in 30 territories. The animated sequel has retained the No. 1 spot in North America for three consecutive weekends, bringing in $140 million stateside. Globally, “Ralph” has made $258 million.

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