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The Upside edges out Aquaman to top US box office

The Upside

Story by Jack Foley

COMEDY remake The Upside, starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, has topped the US box office with $19.6 million.

The surprise victory came at the expense of Warner Bros’ Aquaman, which had been looking to hold onto the top spot for a fourth week.

It also defied pre-release expectations. Heading into the weekend, the film – based on the French original Intouchables – had been tracking to somewhere between $9 million and $12 million.

Directed by Neil Burger, The Upside follows Phillip (Cranston), a wealthy quadriplegic who needs a caretaker to help him with his day-to-day routine in his New York penthouse. He decides to hire Dell (Hart), a struggling parolee who’s trying to reconnect with his ex and his young son. Despite coming from two different worlds, an unlikely friendship forms.

Elsewhere in the US, Aquaman continued to perform well, despite sliding to second. The DC tentpole, starring Jason Momoa, took $17.3 million for a US total of $288 million.

In doing so, it celebrated a major milestone on Saturday as it jumped the $1 billion mark in worldwide ticket sales, becoming the first DC superhero outing to join the billion-dollar club since The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. It is also only the fifth Warners release ever to do so, not adjusted for inflation.

Through Sunday, Aquaman‘s worldwide total stands at $1.02 billion.

In third place in the US was Sony’s A Dog’s Way Home, which opened with $11.3 million, in line with expectations.

The family-friendly film chronicles the adventures of a dog – voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard – who travels 400 miles to find her owner. Ashley Judd and Edward James Olmos co-star.

The weekend’s third new offering, the sci-fi thriller Replicas starring Keanu Reeves, bombed with $2.5 million to mark the worst wide start of its leading man’s career.

Back in the top five, a pair of Sony titles rounded out the remaining two places. Animated superhero title Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse added another $9 million for a total of $147 million, while psychological thriller Escape Room brought in $8.9 million, taking its US bounty to $32 million.

Of the film’s looking to have received a box office bump in light of their Golden Globes success, best drama winner Bohemian Rhapsody performed the best as it offered special sing-along screenings.

The Queen biopic earned $3.2 million for a US total of nearly $200 million ($198.5 million).

And Green Book, which remains among the most controversial of the awards contenders this season, earned an estimated $2.1 million for a US total of $38.6 million in the wake of its Globes win for best comedy or musical.

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