“Escape Room,” a horror thriller from Sony Corp., opened as the first big movie release of 2019 and landed in second place, behind the Warner Bros. superhero movie “Aquaman,” now in its third week.
The Sony Pictures film about six strangers who get mysterious invitations to a new, immersive escape room collected $18 million in its debut, according to estimates Sunday from Comscore Inc. That beat Box Office Pro’s projection of $13.6 million. The movie cost just $9 million to make, according to data from Box Office Mojo, and about half of critics recommended it at RottenTomatoes.com
January is historically a slow month for theaters and a time when smaller distributors can get exposure for their releases. Entertainment Studios, STX Entertainment, Aviron and LD Entertainment all have new movies slotted for theaters in January. Of the major studios, only Sony, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox have new pictures on the schedule. That gives Christmas holdovers a chance to rake in a few more dollars. “Aquaman” has become one of most-successful DC Comics films for AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros. studio, with global ticket sales of $846.3 million heading into the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. Walt Disney Co.’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” also in its third week, had a worldwide total of $204.7 million. Awards hopefuls like “Green Book” and “Vice” may get more attention consumers in the coming days following Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards show on NBC. It’s among the most-watched awards programs leading up to the Oscars late next month.