By JAKE COYLE
AP Film Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — In the calm before the Christmas storm at the box office, the upcoming DC Comics superhero film “Aquaman’’ arrived with a cannonball-sized splash in Chinese theaters.
The Warner Bros. film starring Pacific Islander Jason Momoa in the lead role debuted with $93.6 million in ticket sales. That marked a new opening-weekend record for both Warner Bros. and DC in China. Considering the checkered recent history of DC films (“Justice League,’’ “Suicide Squad’’), the big launch in China was a promising sign for the spinoff.
“Adding to the success of ‘Wonder Woman,’ this is a really solid performance and portends big numbers for North America when it opens,’’ said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.
He added: “That gives the film a lot of positive momentum. This is a movie, along with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and ‘Bumblebee’ and other movies, that’s going to give December that boost that a ‘Star Wars’ movie would give us.’’
“Aquaman’’ will expand to 40 international countries next week and arrive in North American theaters on Dec. 21.