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This is it. Finally. Opening day for Aquaman. Do you think director James Wan has those first-day-of-school jitters? He's probably too much of a pro for that. But he did take time to honor the moment -- and all it took to get here -- while also adding a last-minute suggestion for moviegoers:
Good for him. He's right about the underdog status. HBO's Entourage boss even recently admitted they gave Hollywood actor Vincent Chase the Aquaman role because it seemed like the most ridiculous superhero choice. A lot of people doubted Aquaman could carry his own movie, but look at Arthur Curry now.
Aquaman just officially opened today -- December 21 -- in the North American market, which is currently still the largest in the world. (China will be catching up soon.) The film has already hit some major box office milestones overseas, including picking up nearly $200 million just in China alone. So far!
So James Wan and star Jason Momoa can fairly walk into the U.S. release with a bit of a swagger. They've already proven themselves around the world, although the domestic box office is sometimes rougher on comic book films. (See Venom.)
James Wan admitted he was a bit nervous about the stiff competition at the domestic holiday box office, including Mary Poppins Returns.
But so far critics and audiences have been pretty welcoming to Aquaman. James Wan seems to be a popular guy, and there's a sense that fans are rooting for him to succeed -- especially with so much past frustration in the DCEU between filmmakers and WB execs. Could the DCEU finally be on a steady path, with Aquaman and first looks at Shazam! seeming to impress?
An exhausted James Wan also took to Twitter a couple of months ago to announce when filming was finally complete on Aquaman. It took them two years to get to that point, and two more nerve-racking months to get to this opening.
And Aquaman is only getting started. James Wan said he wasn't contracted for a sequel, but it does seem very possible that one is ahead -- based on the early box office numbers, and just the fact that DCEU does like to continue stories in that way. Wonder Woman has her sequel coming out in 2020, and DCEU also has Harley Quinn's Birds of Prey and the next Batman movie among its upcoming options, but we know a million other DC projects are in the works.
It does seem like Aquaman 2 could be the cream that rises to the top, if that's what the filmmakers want. It wouldn't be the same without James Wan, but once we see these opening weekend numbers come in, Wan's team can present their own numbers to Warner Bros. Show him the money!