DC movies, generally speaking, have never had a problem making money at the box office, but the performance of Aquaman has still been something of a surprise. The character, who has frequently been the butt of jokes among comics fans, has done better than every other DC film, and several Marvel offerings as well. Now that the movie has finally opened in Japan, it’s become a hit there too. As the film’s theatrical run now begins its final wind down, it looks like the king of the seven seas is going to end up with a global box office tally somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.15 billion.
That will make Aquaman the 20th highest grossing film in history, just behind Captain America: Civil War, so if the movie does only slightly better than Forbes is predicting, it could overcome that Marvel movie before its done. While the billion dollar box office club has been steadily growing, it’s still a pretty elite group. Fewer than 40 movies are in it and Aquaman has done better than most of them.
It’s clear that nobody was predicting Aquaman to do so well. Otherwise, we would have seen the movie get a prime summer release date rather than the end of the year slot that it got. However, the good news is that release dates don’t dictate success on their own and the movie was still able to put up huge numbers. Aquaman is the highest grossing DC movie ever already, out-grossing not only every other movie in the current franchise, but also Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. The Dark Knight Rises had been the previous record holder. Both Rises and The Dark Knight are the only other DC properties to break the $1 billion mark.
It’s not shocking that DC and Warner Bros. are already reportedly planning a future to this corner of the larger franchise. While no direct sequel talks have reportedly started yet, we know it’s only a matter of time before James Wan’s phone rings. There’s also word that a spin-off focusing on the characters of The Trench, is reportedly in early development.
The bar has now been set for the rest of the DC Universe. While it will be tough for any of DC’s upcoming movies, like Shazam! or Birds of Prey to match these impressive numbers, the fact that nobody expected Aquaman to do this well in the first place also means that any other DC movie could turn out to be equally surprising.
Shazam! will be the next DC movie to bow this spring and with it focusing much more on humor than any previous DC movie it’s going to be hard to guess how the box office will respond. Perhaps it will end up giving Aquaman a run for its money.