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Home > ‘Aquaman 2’ Takes #1 At The Holiday Box Office Despite A Disappointing Debut

‘Aquaman 2’ Takes #1 At The Holiday Box Office Despite A Disappointing Debut

A Small Splash in A Big Ocean

The box office this week has been quite an anomaly. The sequel to Aquaman (2018), starring Jason Momoa, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, finally made its theatrical debut this holiday season. The movie ended up at the top of the box office but still failed to produce impressive numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Based on the end result, it’s somewhere in the middle. 

The Road To The Sequel 

The first film in 2018, was released around the holiday season as well and grossed around $335.1 million in the United States. It ended up making $1.152 billion worldwide. It became the most popular DC Comics film. After the first film’s success, Momoa pitched a story for the sequel, and official talk about the next film began a few months after the release of the first installment.

Both films are directed by James Wan and written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall. The sequel also has Jason Momoa reprising his role as Arthur Curry, also known as Aquaman. Many familiar faces that were present in the first movie are Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Randall Park, Dolph Lundgren, Temuera Morrison, Martin Short, and Nicole Kidman.

The sequel picks up several years after the first movie. Arthur/Aquaman is married, has a son, and is splitting his life between land and sea, but despite everything seeming calm and happy, something wicked begins to brew in the oceans. A new villain arises, Black Manta, and the movie follows Arthur as he tries to stop him from using the cursed Black Trident for his own evil doings.

Image courtesy of JustWatch. Jason Momoa as Arthur/Aquaman.

Did It Live Up To Its Predecessor? 

At first glance, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom seems to live up to the first movie released. It became the highest-grossing film at the box office the week it was released, grossing around $38.3 million during the three-day weekend in the United States and Canada. The film is expected to make $40 million. Worldwide, the movie has made $118.4. Comparing it to the first movie, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has made a disappointing splash in terms of the numbers; it is DC’s fourth-lowest film overall. Still, it managed to swim its way to the surface before the rest of the movies were released this week.

The Aquaman sequel beat out Wonka, which came in second at the box office, making $17.7 million on its opening weekend. The animated film Migration came in third, making $12.3. The over-marketed Anyone But You, starring Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeny, opened in fourth with $6.2 million, and Saalar Part 1 – Ceasefire came out in fifth with a $5.5 million debut. Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron, takes sixth place with a $5.1 million opening. The numbers this week at the box office are not impressive, so should Aquaman the Lost Kingdom consider this a win? It’s a double-edged sword since the movie beat out all the other films this week but still didn’t manage to gross the numbers it needed to live up to the original movie. One could say it was due to the holiday season, but the first film was released around a similar time and did incredibly. With all the mixed reviews about Momoa’s new film, this outcome at the box office seems to make more sense. 

Aquaman the Lost Kingdom is now in theaters!

Image courtesy of IGN. Left: Patrick Wilson as Orm. Right: Jason Momoa as Aquaman

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) Offical Warner Brothers Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Yasmine, a talented intern in TV and film writing, possesses a deep-seated passion for storytelling. She is pursuing her degree in Cinema and Media studies and Creative Writing with a clear objective of becoming a screenwriter. Her primary creative outlets include film, reading, and writing, and she holds Little Women as her favorite movie.

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I am an aspiring author living and working out of Honolulu, Hawaii. I received my bachelor's degree in Art History at Westmont College and then pursued a master's in Museum Studies at the University of Hawaii. I am currently working on a few novels, and am thankful for the opportunity to expand my creative writing voice at Dead Talk Live.