Thanks to massive love from the international box office, Aquaman is now officially top dog in the DC Extended Universe. As of this weekend, director James Wan’s movie will pass $900 million worldwide. That puts it well past current DCEU leader Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which boasts $873.6 million.
Of course, we’re talking overall worldwide, not just the domestic box office. Aquaman just opened here on December 21, and has picked up $238 million as of Saturday, January 5. It has been playing overseas for quite some time, picking up an impressive $650 million at foreign markets. So far, the total is $887,620,880. Again, that will pass $900M once tomorrow’s weekend box office report comes in.
But check out the worldwide comparisons to the other DCEU-ers (via Box Office Mojo):
1. Aquaman — $887.6M (total foreign + domestic) $238.3M (just domestic)
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — $873.6M (total) $330.4M (domestic)
3. Wonder Woman — $821.8M (total) $412.6M (domestic)
4. Suicide Squad — $746.8M (total) $325.1M (domestic)
5. Man of Steel — $668.0M (total) $291.0M (domestic)
6. Justice League $657.9M (total) $229.0M (domestic)
Ouch to Justice League. Aquaman isn’t even done, and it’s possible it will indeed hit $1 billion. I was skeptical when that speculation came out, but we shall see. It would obviously be the first DCEU film to hit $1 billion, and be a major breakthrough for DC/WB.
Aquaman had the lowest domestic opening weekend of the DCEU group, but that was just based on the two-day weekend; Aquaman was further boosted by previews, plus Christmas and New Year’s weeks with families off from work and school. It made GREAT use of a year with no Star Wars movie as competition, and Lucasfilm has to be kicking itself for that.
Plus, Aquaman opened first overseas and had a huge showing — especially in China — and it rode that buzz into its U.S. release. The international box office alone was going to make Aquaman one of the top DCEU films, and now it’s looking like it will at least pass both Justice League (it already has) and Man of Steel (soon) at the domestic box office.
Aquaman will probably end its domestic run somewhere in the $300M zone, as predicted after its opening. Good enough to possibly rival everyone but Wonder Woman. But now we know it is the overall champ and nothing can take that away from it — for now.
Shazam! doesn’t look like it’s going to rival Aquaman for DCEU domination, but it doesn’t need to. After that, we have Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, whatever is happening with the Suicide Squad sequel, plus non-DCEU DC films like The Joker and The Batman, etc.
And then obviously we can expect Aquaman 2. James Wan said he’s not contracted for that at this point, similar to Patty Jenkins not having a sequel contract right after Wonder Woman. So show James Wan the money, and get Jason Momoa back in the water, ’cause a sequel is just about inevitable. (Feel free to not bring back Pitbull.)