Aquaman has passed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice at the North American box office, becoming the second-highest-grossing DCEU movie domestically. Starring Jason Momoa as the titular superhero, Aquaman opened to a healthy $67 million when it dropped over the Christmas holiday.
There was of course a time when the thought of an Aquaman movie was considered a joke, and indeed the idea was even lampooned on the HBO series Entourage (with help from James Cameron). But after making a brief cameo appearance in Batman V Superman, and then appearing in a larger role in Justice League, Aquaman was deemed by Warner Bros. to be ready for his own spotlight film. Director James Wan ultimately delivered an Aquaman movie that wowed audiences with its spectacular visuals while entertaining them with its humor and action.
As reported by Box Office Mojo, Aquaman has now surpassed the $331 million mark in domestic ticket sales, allowing it to swim past Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice on the all-time list. When it comes to DCEU movies, Aquaman now trails only Wonder Woman, which grossed $412 million in 2017. What makes Aquaman’s performance more impressive is that it did open to $67 million, far behind the $166 million taken in by Batman V Superman in its opening weekend. Aquaman’s legs have thus far been very strong, allowing it to rack up big grosses over time.
Internationally, Aquaman’s performance has been even more impressive, as the movie has now taken in $1.13 billion worldwide. That makes it far-and-away the best-performing DCEU movie globally, with Batman V Superman well behind at $873 million. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that Aquaman is set for a sequel, with James Wan maybe returning to direct (though the director is said to be waiting for the right script). In addition to a proper sequel, Aquaman is also getting its own “horror tinged” spinoff centered on the Atlantean tribe The Trench.
After all the worry over the future of the DCEU following the failure of Justice League, DC and Warner Bros. must be thrilled at the stellar performance of Aquaman. For the most part, the DCEU will now move away from big team-up movies and instead focus on individual characters, with solo movies coming up for Joker and Shazam!, and of course the sequel Wonder Woman 1984. The semi-exception to this approach would be Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which is something of a team-up film, though as the title suggests it should mostly center on Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. It seems Warner Bros. and DC have decided that putting loads of superhero characters together a la The Avengers is not the best strategy for them, but instead they should focus on relatively more modest and focused stories (if a movie like Aquaman can in any way be called modest and focused).
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021