As fans in the US gear up for Aquaman's theatrical release, the DCEU superhero adventure is already nearing a $100 million opening weekend for the China box office. If those numbers hold up, it will mark the highest December debut in Chinese history, besting the 2015 action-adventure Mojin - The Lost Legend.
After its Chinese debut this weekend, Aquaman opens in the U.K. on December 12, along with Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Philippines and Taiwan. It will open in Australia on December 13 along with 15 other foreign markets, India on December 14, France and South Korea on December 19 and Germany, Georgia, Hong Kong and Ukraine on December 20. Initial Aquaman box office projections put the movie at a $40 million to $60 million opening, and while the latest projections put it at $65 million, that's still the lowest DCEU opening, so it may need all the help it can get from foreign markets. That said, it's making major waves (no pun intended) in China.
Chinese box office analyst Gavin Feng reports that Aquaman earned $62.17 million for its first two days in release at the China box office, which includes a Saturday/single day record of $38.11 million and $24.6 million on Friday, the best DCEU opening day in China. Feng also reports that if these numbers hold up, it will be the fourth largest superhero debut ever, behind Avengers: Infinity War ($200.9 million), Venom ($110.2 million) and Captain America: Civil War ($96.7 million), nearing $91 million for its three-day debut. The projected debut will also be ahead of Marvel Cinematic Universe hits like Avengers: Age of Ultron ($86.4 million), Ant-Man and the Wasp ($68.3 million) and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($71.5 million).
China Box Office: Aquaman set the biggest Saturday / single day record in December with $38.11M. It has already earned $62.17M in 2 days. It is looking to make $91M-plus on 3-day debut, breaking the December opening record in local currency. #Aquaman pic.twitter.com/HX2FW9r4vq— Gavin Feng (@gavinfeng97) December 8, 2018
Comic Book Movies openings(first 3-day weekend)— Gavin Feng (@gavinfeng97) December 8, 2018
Infinity War - ¥1272.4M / $200.9M
Venom - ¥766.4M / $110.2M
Civil War - ¥628.1M / $96.7M
Aquaman - ¥627.4M / $91.3M(early est.)
Age of Ultron - ¥536.4M / $86.4M
The Wasp - ¥464.9M / $68.3M
Homecoming - ¥462.8M / $71.5M#Aquaman
December openings(first 3-day weekend)— Gavin Feng (@gavinfeng97) December 8, 2018
Aquaman - ¥627.4M / $91.3M(early est.)
Mojin: The Lost Legend - ¥600.6M / $92.7M
The Great Wall - ¥472.3M / $67.9M
Devil and Angel - ¥351.8M / $54.3M
While this early international success is certainly good news for the DCEU, Aquaman faces some stiff competition over the holiday season. It will open on December 21 against Paramount's Bumblebee, Universal's Welcome to Marwen, and Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, which will be released on December 19. And, as far as competing superhero movies go, 20th Century Fox is also releasing a new PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 dubbed Once Upon a Deadpool, while Sony is releasing its critically-acclaimed animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is still at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It's possible that December is a bit too crowded for Aquaman to leave a bigger dent than other DCEU movies at the box office.
Even if Aquaman does wind up with the worst debut in DCEU history, Warner Bros. is already planning an Aquaman sequel, with director James Wan likely returning to the helm. If the fans truly get behind Aquaman the same way they got behind Wonder Woman, it could mark the start of a comeback of sorts for the DCEU, especially given the rumors of a new creative direction for the franchise. After the failure of Justice League, Warner Bros. needs a big win from Aquaman, and while it's already off to a great start internationally, it will likely need a bigger opening than currently projected to truly succeed stateside.
Source: Gavin Feng
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018