‘The Upside’ Takes the Top Spot at the Weekend Box Office, Downing ‘Aquaman’

January 13, 2019, 7:21 PM UTC

Three new movies battled for the box-office crown in North American theaters and the surprise winner was “The Upside.” The dramatic comedy opened its first weekend with $19.6 million in ticket sales at 3,080 theaters, topping No. 2 Warner Bros. superhero blockbuster “Aquaman,” Comscore Inc. estimated Sunday.

“The Upside,” the first film by STX Entertainment to debut at No. 1, stars Bryan Cranston as a quadriplegic and Kevin Hart as his helper, an unemployed man with a criminal record. It topped “A Dog’s Way Home,” a Sony Pictures family movie about a lost dog, and “Replicas,” a sci-fi from Entertainment Studios that features Keanu Reeves trying to bring back dead family members.

None of the three were expected to do more than $14.5 million, according to Box Office Pro estimates. Meanwhile, “Aquaman” crossed $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales this weekend, becoming the top-grossing DC Comics movie ever.

Key Insights

“Glass,” a Universal Pictures mystery by M. Night Shyamalan, looks set to add to movie competition next weekend, which includes the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. It’s expected to open with 3-day sales of $67 million, according to Box Office Pro. Two potential awards winners expanded to more theaters. “If Beale Street Could Talk” is about a pregnant Harlem woman trying to prove her husband’s innocence. It’s from Annapurna Pictures and took in $2.4 million. “On the Basis of Sex,” from Universal’s Focus Features, looks at the early life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose absence from the court in recent days due to illness has given the picture currency. It took in $6.2 million.