‘Aquaman’ stays afloat atop North American box office

“Aquaman” displayed a powerful kick in North American theaters over the weekend, taking in an estimated $52.1 million to help close a record year for the movie sector, final figures showed Wednesday. With hunky and heavily tattooed Jason Momoa in the lead role, the Warner Bros. film has grossed nearly $750 million globally. It earned $52.1 million in its second weekend. Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” gained altitude in its second weekend, taking in $28.4 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period. The follow-up to the 1964 movie stars Emily Blunt as the stern but kind-hearted nanny, backed by the amiable Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame.

In third was Paramount’s “Bumblebee,” a prequel to the “Transformers” movies, starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, at $20.9 million. The Washington Post credits the film with rising above earlier editions in the franchise to show “humor, emotion and a surprising amount of heart.” Fourth place went to Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” at $18.8 million. The film has drawn rave reviews — with a 97 score on the Rotten Tomatoes website — and has netted a Golden Globe nomination as best animated picture. In fifth was “The Mule” from Warner Bros., at $12.2 million. Clint Eastwood directs and takes the lead role — his last acting part, he has said — as a destitute 90-year-old who turns to transporting cocaine for a drug cartel.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:

– “Vice” ($7.8 million)
– “Holmes & Watson” ($7.4 million)
– “Second Act” ($7.4 million)
– “Ralph Breaks the Internet” ($6.7 million)
– “Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch” ($4.1 million)
– “Mary Queen of Scots” ($2.7 million)

Us premieres March 15.