DC Defeats Themselves In Embarrassing Box Office

By Charlene Badasie | Published

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the final installment in the DC Extended Universe, managed to salvage some pride at the box office with a robust performance in overseas markets. Despite a lackluster domestic debut in December, the movie defied expectations by crossing the $100 million mark domestically and the $300 million worldwide – racing past the studio’s past 2023 releases.

Aquaman 2 Beats Out The Flash And More

The movie’s international success, particularly in China contributed over $50 million to its international ticket takings in the past week alone. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s global cumulative total now adds up to an impressive $334 million, outperforming DC releases like The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Blue Beetle at the box office.The film also found success in the IMAX format, earning over $30 million worldwide. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is now aiming to surpass the global box office earnings of 2022’s Black Adam, which wrapped up its theatrical run with just over $390 million worldwide. Due to the DC movie’s international box office performance, a final gross of $400 million looks likely.

The Movie Officialy Ends The Old DCEU

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom paves the way for the DC Universe, which will be spearheaded by DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran, who hope to breathe new life into the superhero genre at the box office. The first offering under Chapter One: Gods and Monsters five-film slate is the highly anticipated Superman: Legacy.

Jason Momoa’s DC Future Remains A Mystery

With a reported production budget of over $200 million, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom features Jason Momoa in the lead role, likely marking his final portrayal of the character. Momoa made his debut as Aquaman in the 2017 film Justice League and reprised in Aquaman. Directed by James Wan, the DC movie achieved significant success at the box office in 2018.

Pales In Comparison To The First Aquaman Film

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The original Aquaman holds the title of the highest-grossing DC film to date, amassing over $1.1 billion in global box office earnings. By comparison, the sequel is poised to achieve a portion of that staggering success. Critical reception for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom falls between extremes, with a 35 percent critics review on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes alongside an 81 percent audience score.

Where Did Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Go Wrong?

The underwhelming performance of DC’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom at the box office can be attributed to a variety of factors. The most common is superhero fatigue resulting from market oversaturation. The phenomenon is further exemplified by the MCU experiencing its lowest-ever box office performance with the release of The Marvels.

Additionally, a segment of DC enthusiasts expressed their intention to boycott the Aquaman sequel due to Amber Heard’s involvement, which may have caused the movie to fail at the box office. The sentiment gained traction through a petition signed by millions urging the studio to cut her from the film following her legal dispute with her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

No One Interested In The Dead DCEU?

Another contributing factor to the film’s lackluster reception may be the perception that spending money on DCEU projects is unnecessary, given the impending conclusion of this cinematic era. As James Gunn and Peter Safran usher in the DC Universe, some viewers may have chosen to forgo Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, deeming it pointless.