Sony's animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is easily winning the weekend box-office race, grossing $12.6 million Friday from 3,813 theaters for a projected weekend debut of $35 million-$40 million, the best showing ever for an animated film launching in the month of December.
Elsewhere, Clint Eastwood's The Mule is off to a solid trot, while the big-budget, Peter Jackson-produced Mortal Engines is bombing. And the PG-13 cut of Once Upon a Deadpool is expected to collect nearly $4 million, a tidy sum for a rerelease.
Spider-Verse, costing a reported $90 million to make, earned a coveted A+ CinemaScore from audiences. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman directed.
The critically acclaimed film, produced by Philip Lord and Christopher Miller, reveals a shared universe where there can be more than one Spider-Man, and introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as the latest hero to wear the mask. Spider-Verse is unique for featuring a superhero who is half Puerto Rican and half African-American. It currently boasts a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.