LOS ANGELES — The ecstatically reviewed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” stuck its landing, likely starting a new animated franchise for Sony Pictures. And Clint Eastwood, playing a cranky drug courier in “The Mule,” proved that he is still an incredibly bankable star, even at nearly 90 years old.
But it was a calamitous weekend at the North American box office for Peter Jackson, whose name did little for “Mortal Engines,” which arrived as one of the biggest flops of the year.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” heralded for its inventive animation and clever use of multiple Spideys, was the No. 1 movie in the United States and Canada. It collected about $35.4 million at 3,813 theaters, according to Comscore, which compiles box-office data. Sony spent roughly $90 million to make the movie, not including substantial marketing costs. The PG-rated film was produced by a team that included Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo behind “The Lego Movie.”
[Read A. O. Scott’s review: A fresh take on “Spider-Man”]
Ticket buyers agreed with critics, giving “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” an A-plus grade in CinemaScore exit polls.
“The Mule” (Warner Bros.), which Mr. Eastwood also directed, took in an estimated $17.2 million, one of the best initial results for an original drama this year. That total, enough for second place, gave Mr. Eastwood his biggest opening as a star since 2000, when “Space Cowboys” arrived to $18.1 million, or roughly $27 million after adjusting for inflation.
“The Mule,” which cost $50 million to make, is expected to do well over the busy holiday period, in part because it will