Aquaman was not seen as a guaranteed hit for Warner Bros. before its release. After all, Justice League had sunk both critically and commercially in 2017 and that’s the film that introduced Jason Momoa’s King of Atlantis to moviegoers. However, Aquaman and Justice League are as different as chalk and cheese and worldwide audiences haven’t stopped swimming into cinemas to see it.
Earlier this month, Aquaman crossed the coveted $1 billion mark at the box office, making it the most successful movie in the Worlds of DC franchise. Now, James Wan’s aquatic action/adventure flick has officially passed The Dark Knight Rises to become the highest-grossing DC film of all-time. Christopher Nolan’s closer to his Dark Knight trilogy previously held the accolade with its $1.085 billion gross, but Aquaman has just sailed past it and currently stands at $1.091 billion.
While the pic earned itself a strong domestic intake, it’s the movie’s enormous overseas gross that’s really pushed it to its record-breaking numbers – in particular, it did huge box office business in China. In terms of U.S. gross, Aquaman sits as the fourth highest-earning DCEU movie with its $316 million, behind Suicide Squad ($325M), Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330M) and Wonder Woman ($412M).
This figure also means that Aquaman sits as the 25th highest-grossing movie, of any kind, of all-time. That makes it the third most successful Warner Bros. flick in history, too, behind The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($1.119b) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II ($1.342b).
What with this level of success, you can bet that Aquaman 2 is on the road to being fast-tracked. The latest intel says that James Wan’s holding out for a good script for the sequel, so if he isn’t satisfied in that department, there’s a chance he might not return in the director’s chair. Although, no doubt execs will be keen to lure him back and we imagine they’ll ultimately be able to.