The long-awaited follow-up to James Wan’s 2018 billion-dollar blockbuster sets the stage for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DCU reboot scheduled for a 2024 debut. Despite the potential for DCEU enthusiasts to mark the series’ farewell, it appears that only a small fraction of the original audience is making their way back to theaters for Aquaman 2.
Initially anticipated to reach $12 million, the figure eventually soared to $40 million. Disney’s The Marvels commenced with a $46 million opening over its initial three days, concluding with a domestic total of less than $90 million. While Aquaman 2 starring Jason Momoa is poised to outperform, these outcomes raise concerns for its cinematic universe.
Reports indicate that the film incurred a cost of $205 million. It has received a B Cinemascore, a downgrade from the A- achieved by the franchise’s first film in 2018.
The promotional efforts for the sequel were notably subdued in contrast to the original films, possibly distancing a more extensive audience. Coupled with the imminent DCU reboot, fans of DC movies might find little motivation to engage with the sequel.
The movie’s international performance is significantly stronger, with a projected $80 million, including an unexpected $30 million in China. This provides a glimmer of hope for improved overall results. However, the first Aquaman grossed over $1.1 billion, justifying the expenditure far more effectively than the current box office returns.