‘Aquaman’ Sequel Has Disappointing Christmas Opening, Bringing In Just $40M

Jason Momoa
Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” was yet another box office disappointment for comic book films, bringing in just $40 million over its opening weekend. 

The movie, which stars Jason Momoa as the King of Atlantis, brought in $27.7 million for the regular weekend and just $40 million over the extended four-day holiday weekend, per Variety.

The sequel to the original “Aquaman” (2018) cost $205 million to make. This is the latest in a long line of disappointing projects for Warner Bros. and DC in 2023. “The Flash” ($55 million debut), “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” ($30 million debut), and “Blue Beetle” ($25 million debut) also underperformed this year, the outlet noted.

Industry analysts haven’t given up hope on “Aquaman 2,” however, as sometimes December releases have a slow start at the box office and slowly gain momentum into the new year. That happened with the original “Aquaman,” which earned $67 million at first and wound up bringing in $335 million domestically and $1.15 billion globally. 

“Aquaman 2” currently has a 36% critic score and 79% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes

“Yet more evidence that the superhero movie industry is foundering comes from this shoddy, scraped-from-the-bottom-of-an-ocean-trench sequel,” the Observer reviewer wrote


“This final dive into the undersea world of the DCEU implodes under the pressure likely generated by all the behind-the-scenes tinkering. As last hurrahs go, this one’s lost at sea,” another reviewer agreed.

The superhero genre in general has been suffering lately. In November, the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) installment, “The Marvels,” had the lowest opening weekend in the franchise’s history, pulling in just $47 million.

“Captain America: A Brave New World,” “Thunderbolts,” and “Blade” — all originally slated for 2024 — are being pushed to 2025, at least in part because of strike-related production delays. That means the only Marvel release scheduled for 2024 is “Deadpool 3.”

Other upcoming DC projects include “Joker: Folie á Deux,” which will debut in November 2024 and “Superman: Legacy,” which hits theaters in July 2025.

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