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‘Aquaman,’ ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Power Year-End North American Box Office

Powerful holdovers “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” are leading the way as the 2018 domestic box office finishes the year on a record-setting note.

Aquaman” will repeat as the winner of the final weekend of the year with about $52 million at 4,125 North American sites, according to Saturday estimates. That’s a smallish decline of only 24% from its opening. The Warner Bros. tentpole, starring Jason Momoa, will finish the frame with about $189 million in its first 10 days.

Disney’s second weekend of “Mary Poppins Returns” is leading the rest of the pack with about $34 million at 4,090 locations as the sequel shows impressive holding power with a 34% hike from its opening weekend. “Mary Poppins Returns,” starring Emily Blunt, should hit the $104 million mark by the end of Sunday, its 12th day of release.

Paramount’s Transformers prequel “Bumbleebee” should finish third with about $21 million at 3,550 venues, with a decline of only 3% from its opening weekend. The tale of Hailee Steinfeld’s character teaming up with a yellow Volkswagen should top $67 million on Sunday. “Bumblebee” has received surprisingly strong critical support with a 93% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sony’s third frame of “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” will follow in fourth with around $19 million at 3,813 sites as the animated adventure saw a 15% jump in its results. The seventh iteration of the “Spider-Man” franchise — which carries a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes — should reach a total of $105 million domestically by Sunday.

Like “Mary Poppins Returns,” Warner Bros.’ third weekend of “The Mule” is seeing a significant surge this weekend with a 30% hike to $12.4 million at 2,787 venues. The Clint Eastwood drama will top $61 million by the end of the weekend.

No new wide releases are debuting, but a pair of titles that launched on Christmas Day on Tuesday — Sony’s comedy “Holmes & Watson” and Annapurna’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” — are showing only modest traction in a battle for sixth place in the $7 million to $8 million range. STXfilms’ second weekend of Jennifer Lopez’ romcom “Second Act” and Disney’s sixth frame of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” are also contending for the sixth spot.

Focus Features’ “On the Basis of Sex” is continuing to perform well in limited release with a projected $709,000 at 33 locations, which would give the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic $1.5 million since its Christmas Day launch. Sony Classics’ platform launch of “Stan & Ollie” is showing some traction with an estimated $70,000 at five locations as is Annapurna’s opening of Nicole Kidman’s “Destroyer” with $85,000 at three sites.

The 2018 domestic box office topped the 2016 record on Dec. 23 and reached $11.63 billion on Dec. 27, up 7.1% from last year, according to comScore. The tracker has projected a final total of $11.9 billion by the end of business on New Year’s Eve — even without new releases launching this weekend.

“The post-Christmas weekend is traditionally a catch-up weekend when moviegoers take a breather and relax in the sanctuary of the multiplex and catch up on the latest blockbusters and awards contenders,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.

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