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Aquaman smiling as he enters the submarine

Warner Bros.’ Aquaman has already blown even the loftiest and most optimistic of expectations out of the water with a box office performance that is as surprising as it is impressive. And even though it has passed the magical $1 billion mark, Aquaman isn’t done racking up the accolades just yet. James Wan’s superhero film should pass The Dark Knight Rises’ $1.085 billion this weekend, making it the biggest DC Comics movie ever.

Aquaman has already surpassed fellow DCEU films Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the worldwide box office, as well as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Once Aquaman beats out the $1.085 billion The Dark Knight Rises earned in 2012, the King of Atlantis will officially be the undisputed king of the DC Comics box office.

No previous DCEU film had passed either The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises at the worldwide box office and soon Aquaman will have bested both of them. Aquaman’s success is not only impressive ‘for a DC movie’ or for a DCEU film, but in the superhero genre overall.

Once Aquaman passes The Dark Knight Rises, it will be the third-biggest solo superhero film of all time according to Forbes. Ahead of it are Iron Man 3 with $1.215 billion and Best Picture nominee Black Panther’s $1.347 billion.

A large percentage of Aquaman’s box office has come from overseas markets and in that regard Aquaman also finds itself in esteemed company on the leaderboard. Aquaman has already passed Captain America: Civil War’s $745 million to become the biggest superhero movie at the international box office behind only Iron Man 3 and Marvel’s three Avengers films.

A big chunk of that international box office is thanks to the all-important Chinese market where Aquaman has surfed to around $295 million. That makes Arthur Curry’s solo adventure the second-biggest superhero movie ever in the Middle Kingdom behind only Avengers: Infinity War, which made $359 million there.

On the domestic front, Aquaman’s performance isn’t quite as impressive but it’s still pretty darn good. In 34 days of release the film has earned $308.52 million and currently sits at number 6 on the DC Comics domestic box office chart. If the fish man can leg it out to over $330 million domestic, it will pass Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to become the fourth biggest DC movie domestically behind the Amazonian and Nolan’s last two Dark Knight films.

It’s fascinating to think that after Justice League, the DCEU seemed to be in a nadir it may never escape. And now Aquaman of all heroes has buoyed the brand from the trenches and back up to the surface. The character who has historically been the but of jokes is now set to stand atop the almighty Batman and Christopher Nolan's venerated Dark Knight movies at the box office. Wild stuff.

It’s no wonder Warner Bros. is not going to focus as much on having a shared movie universe anymore, I suppose a few disappointing team-up films and a solo film in the three-comma club will do that. It will be interesting to see if April’s Shazam! can continue to ride this wave.

Check out our release schedule to see what you can look forward to at the movies this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest in box office and superhero news.

SPOILERS | Aquaman End Credits Scene: What Happens, and What it Means

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