The verdict is out. Aquaman has opened to a record $106 million extended Christmas weekend. The movie passed $100 million at the North American box-office since its release on Friday, accruing $83 million in its opening wekeend (including preview sales), followed by $11 million on Christmas Eve (Monday) and $22 million on Christmas Day (Tuesday) for a combined total of $105.7 million. Its $22 million Christmas haul makes it only the sixth film to surpass that amount, behind the three recent Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi) as well as Guy Ritchie’s Robert Downey Jr. Jude Law starrer Sherlock Holmes and James Cameron’s Avatar.
Internationally, the film is doing even better, thanks to the headstart it got from its early releases. It has already grossed over $232 million in China and made over $400 million from overseas territories, taking its worldwide total to north of $500 million. That’s an impressive haul for what is essentially a DC superhero movie that’s not a Superman or Batman movie and released in a crowded window that also had Bumblebee and Mary Poppins Returns, though it looks like those two aren’t going to give Arthur Curry much competition.
Aquaman has been enjoying a generally positive reception so far, although not as overwhelmingly positive as DC fans would have wanted. It currently has a 64% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes from over 264 reviews with a rating averaging 6.0 out of 10.0. I personally found it an extraordinary exercise in telling what is essentially a fantasy movie with rich world-building through the guise of a superhero movie (you can read my review here). With this movie, DC should hopefully gain enough to rejuvenate its DC Expanded Universe of films, even as it prepares for a parallel universe on the side.
What’s also looking likely at this point is that Aquaman has every intention to surpass the US and worldwide totals of 2017’s Justice League. If that happens, it would be insane and should make Walter Hamada at Warner Bros. seriously consider planning for a Justice League 2. Thoughts?