DC has had a rough year at the global box office, and now all eyes are turning to its year-ending production, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as the film that will carry theaters into 2024. There’s just one problem – Aquaman 2 isn’t the movie you’d want to place all your chips on. Unfortunately, according to Variety, many cinemas around the country don’t have a choice as the Jason Momoa-led superhero flick is the only one up for the task.
A Worrisome Holiday Season
In a recently shared article, Variety spoke with Phoenix Theatres about its expectations for the upcoming holiday season. While, in the past, theatergoers have spent the slow days of the season catching titles including Avatar: The Way of Water and Spider-Man: No Way Home, there’s a certain divisiveness surrounding Aquaman 2, making those in the industry worried about the future of their business.
Aquaman 2 Predicted To Bomb
A far cry from a sure thing, Aquaman 2 doesn’t have the makings of a film from the Avatar franchise or an installment from the Spider-Man films led by Tom Holland. While 2018’s Aquaman was a commercial success for the studio, audiences have had plenty of gripes about its upcoming sequel. From the divisive inclusion of Amber Heard to the poor CG effects pointed out in the film’s primary trailer, Aquaman 2 has been hitting crushing wave after wave on the swim to its December 22 premiere.
Aquaman Vs. Black Manta
Aquaman 2 centers around Jason Momoa’s titular superhero who is now enjoying his life on land as a father to a newborn baby. But, when Atlantis once again finds itself under the terror of Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), Aquaman suits up and takes a deep dive to put an end to the villain. However, Aquaman will need all the help he can get as Black Manta has the power of the Black Trident on his side. For this, Aquaman will seek out his brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson) to combine their strength and save their beloved Atlantis.
James Wan Returns To The Director’s Chair
Returning to direct Aquaman 2 is James Wan, who, along with his vision behind the two DC projects is also known for creating the Saw, Insidious, and Conjuring franchises. Teaming up with Jason Momoa on the story, Wan and the leading man crafted the film’s plot which wouldn’t see anything come to fruition for a few years. Despite all the hate, Wan has been a vocal advocate for Aquaman 2, slamming the negative press it’s received surrounding Amber Heard’s involvement and rumors about a heavy reshoot schedule.
Aquaman 2 Is The Last DCEU Film
Not only are theaters across the country holding their breath before plunging into Aquaman 2, but DC Studios is also preparing itself to walk the plank with its final film of the year. 2023 hasn’t been overly kind to the superhero studio as its other projects, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle fell far below box office expectations. With James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over the studio one year ago, the pair plan to move things in a different direction following Aquaman 2, starting from scratch and introducing a docket filled with new heroes to the fold.