The DC live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, full of peaks and valleys. While all seemed lost after the poor critical and financial performance of Justice League and Batman v Superman, Warner Bros.' massive franchise seems to be on the upswing. The DCEU is taking a step away from serialized storytelling and crossover-heavy movies, instead allowing directors to have more creative control of each blockbuster.
This pivot for the shared universe made its debut with James Wan's Aquaman, which was wholly focused on the title character and denizens of Atlantis. The project was well received by critics, and made a ton of money at the box office in the process. And the King's reign isn't ending anytime soon, as Aquaman's home copies are selling like hot cakes.
Enough cinephiles and DC fans are getting their own copies of Aquaman that the blockbuster is currently sitting on number 1 at the home video sale charts. James Wan's underwater adventure beat out the likes of fellow Christmas release Mary Poppins Returns, as well as animated comic book movie Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
This report from MediaPlayNews should come as no major surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the trajectory of Aquaman. James Wan had his work cut out for him in the movie's filming and editing process, as half of Aquaman was set underwater. Extensive wire work and visual effects were necessarily to give characters a sense of weightlessness, plus a ton of imagination to make the underwater civilization come to life.
Because of these challenges, Aquaman's success was far from guaranteed. What's more, James Wan's blockbuster was focused on a superhero who hasn't traditionally been the most badass or beloved member of the Justice League. Aquaman has often been the butt of jokes, with animated adaptations of the character making his powers seem a bit silly. But all that changed with Jason Momoa's version, after his debut in Justice League.
Jason Momoa became a household name through his brief tenure as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. He's a hulking physical presence, who was largely introduced to audiences by massacring his enemies across the narrow sea. So when he was cast as Aquaman, it was clear that we weren't getting the dopey blonde version from Super Friends.
In the end, audiences really responded to the colorful world of Aquaman. In fact, the box office numbers were so strong that both a sequel and spinoff are being developed by Warner Bros. The strong performance of its home sales is simply the icing on the cake, reminding DC that they might the right call in green lighting the spinoff The Trench.