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With Aquaman being the only DCEU movie in 2018, we've basically spent the whole year wondering if it will be good, and how it will do after the critical and financial disappointment of Justice League. It's still early, as Aquaman just debuted in North American theaters last weekend, but James Wan's film is already making major waves. And while there are still leagues yet to travel, Aquaman looks like it could be heading toward the $1 billion mark.
Thanks to its already impressive and still growing foreign box office,as well as staying power domestically, Forbes' Mark Hughes sees Aquaman as on track to eventually go past $900 million worldwide and hit that magical $1 billion mark. That would cement the King of Atlantis as the king of the DCEU, since no other film in Warner Bros.' franchise has attained that mark to date.
After a first place debut with $67.4 million, Aquaman did gangbusters on Christmas Day with over $20 million, a feat only a few films can claim. Combine that with its Christmas Eve and early previews haul, and the underwater adventure sits at almost $106 million domestically. That's a long way off from $1 billion, but Aquaman opened earlier in overseas markets and found enough success to elevate its worldwide total to around $550 million.
This coming weekend Aquaman could get very close to the $700 million mark in advance of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, two big moviegoing days that should also help Aquaman get a little bit closer to entry in the three-comma club.
According to Mark Hughes, Aquaman could already be the DCEU's third-highest grossing movie by the end of the first week in 2019 with over $750 million dollars. That's on the low-end, if the dropoff is precipitous. More likely though is that Aquaman will continue to ride the wave it is on and perhaps reach $1 billion.
In addition to its easrly success , Aquaman has a lot going for it. Critical reviews are positive, even if they aren't glowing. The film has also proven quite popular and boasts a solid "A-" CinemaScore. It's a fun, colorful and action-packed spectacle that you can pretty much see with the whole family. That should contribute to word of mouth and its legs at the box office.
Aquaman beat back two impressive contenders opening weekend but there is arguably nothing that falls into the blockbuster competition category until mid-January with Glass. So Aquaman will have plenty of time to draw in audiences after the busy holiday season as well as repeat viewers.
Currently, the most successful DCEU film is Wonder Woman domestically with $412 million and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Internationally with $873.6 million. For Aquaman to have a shot at becoming the new worldwide champ for the DCEU and the brand's first $1 billion film is a huge deal, especially since it didn't open as big as the other DCEU movies.
There was a lot riding on Aquaman, and just one year after the release Justice League, it looks like Aquaman could deliver in a major way. Plus it'll likely set the DCEU's next film, Shazam!, up nicely to keep the success going next year.