DC Movies End Run At Their Worst In Over 25 Years, Christmas Disaster For Jason Momoa

By Zack Zagranis | Published

There may not have been nipples on the Flash suit or an Aquaman credit card in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but DC movies are currently at their lowest point since George Clooney put on his rubber fetish gear Bat-pants to fight the Terminator in Frostface. Aquaman 2 is technically the #1 movie at the box office currently but that’s only because #2 floats. The film is a certified stinker capping off an era of DC movies that rarely crawled its way out of the toilet and, other than a film or two, belongs in the sewer.

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom debuted with a dismal $29 million at the box office over the long Christmas weekend. For comparison purposes, the first Aquaman was released over a longer Christmas weekend in 2018. That movie grossed $68 million. Even The Flash, which has been widely maligned as a flop, debuted with $55 million opening weekend.

“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” That line from one of the best DC movies of all time, The Dark Knight (2008), could have easily described the state of DC in 1998. Had the studio taken a break after the lucrative and fairly well-received Batman Forever, they would have gone down as the heroes of ’90s comic-book cinema. Unfortunately, hubris and greed led to Batman and Robin—a movie so bad it should be criminal—and the lowest point in DC movie history.

Until now, that is.

DC, riding high in the saddle thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, decided in 2013 to suddenly play catch-up with their biggest competitor—Marvel—and start their own cinematic universe, complete with their own version of Kevin Feige, Zack “Batman could get raped in prison in my movie” Snyder. Needless to say, mistakes were made. Now, the universe of DC movies Zack Snyder started with Man of Steel (2013) is officially done, with Aquaman 2 serving as its final death rattle.

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom box office

The last two years of DC movies have felt like watching the brand on life support struggling to keep breathing in spite of its failing constitution. It didn’t help, of course, that James Gunn, gleefully announced last year, ahead of these last few DCEU projects, that he was pulling the plug on the whole thing and starting over fresh.

Marvel had conditioned fans to judge each film in terms of where it fits in the overall narrative. Who was going to go see Shazam! Fury of the Gods or The Flash, knowing that the events of both movies didn’t matter? Why waste a portion of the precious little life you’re given watching Black Adam when the movie itself wastes so much of the precious time it was given setting up a Justice Society you’ll never see again?

We’re not even going to get into the Superman cameo that caused so much commotion online.

Aquaman and the lost Kingdom

And then there’s the DCEU’s swansong, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The movie is on track to perform abysmally when compared to the original Aquaman‘s billion-dollar box office haul. It’s one of the DC movies no one asked for: a sequel starring an actor who should be playing a completely different DC character—Jason Momoa as Lobo or we riot—and another actor more famous for her public legal woes than all of her movie roles combined. How did Batgirl get shelved but not this underwater trainwreck?

Luckily, James Gunn and Peter Safran are there to pick up the pieces and reboot the DCEU completely with a new batch of DC movies, starting with the highly anticipated Superman: Legacy set for release in 2025. Hopefully, Legacy will do to the Snyderverse what Batman Begins (2005) did to the Burton/Schumacher films that came before it: bury it while starting a new, hopeful era for DC cinematically.