The success of Aquaman really is unprecedented. Justice League and Batman v Superman were considered box office failures for not making $1 billion, and to date, not even the critically acclaimed Wonder Woman managed it. Nevertheless, Warner Bros took one of the lamest DC characters, gave him an Asgardian makeover, and learning from past mistakes saw him cross the highly-coveted mark. According to Forbes, Momoa’s Aquaman passed $1 billion on Saturday, becoming only the third DC Comics movie to do so.
As it stands, Aquaman has topped Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight which made $1.004 billion back in 2008.
However, it’s still behind the most successful DC movie ever, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises on $1.084 billion.
Nevertheless, it’s currently the eighth highest-grossing live-action superhero movie ever made behind Nolan’s third Batman, three Avengers, Black Panther, Iron Man 3 and Captain America Civil War.
Certainly, Aquaman’s success was thanks to foreign markets, seeing as its US domestic box office was the second lowest ahead of 2017 flop Justice League.
Aquaman is expected to make almost $800 million in foreign markets, topping The Dark Knight Rises in combined total and becoming the biggest DC movie ever.
With the DCEU’s critical and financial failures in recent years bar Wonder Woman, just where did Aquaman go right exactly?
One of the things fans have appreciated about the solo movie is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Where Batman v Superman was dark and dreary, Aquaman director James Wan embraced its ridiculous narrative and brought audiences along for a fun-filled ride complete with drumming Octopus and Mary Poppins-voiced sea monster.
And let’s not forget the likability and charm of former Game of Thrones star Momoa.
No doubt an Aquaman sequel is inevitable, just as was the case with Wonder Woman.
But what this means for Batman and Superman’s futures in the long-run is unknown.
Later this year DC fans have Shazam! and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker to look forward to. With one film leaning on the funnier side and the other perhaps a more arty take, it looks like Warner Bros are trying different angles to see what works with audiences.