AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Eyeing An Opening Weekend Even More Disastrous Than THE MARVELS

Back in 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home was credited with “saving” theaters after opening to a massive $260 million. It was Avatar: The Way of Water‘s turn last year with $134 million, and both movies ultimately managed to gross over $2 billion worldwide. 

2020 was a write-off thanks to the pandemic but Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was 2019’s huge December movie (despite negative reviews). However, in 2018, Aquaman shocked pundits when it exceeded expectations and ultimately grossed over $1 billion at the global box office. 

The sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, splashes down into theaters tomorrow and us currently eyeing a disappointing $40+ million four-day opening weekend. That’s less than what The Marvels made ($46.1 million) over a three-day period last month. 

Overseas, it appears the sequel will perform a little better as Deadline expects it to earn $75 million – $80 million, taking its worldwide bow to somewhere around the $110 million mark by close of business on Sunday.

Some believe these estimates are too high. This year, we’ve seen the DCEU deliver a series of disastrous openings, with Shazam: Fury of the Gods ($30.1 million), The Flash ($55 million), and Blue Beetle ($25 million) all underperforming. With that in mind, it’s likely Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will similarly underperform and end up closer to $30 million when all is said and done. It may even earn less than Blue Beetle between Thursday – Sunday.

Not helping matters is the fact Warner Bros. Discovery appears to have given up on the movie; it had a low-key premiere and is receiving pretty much no love from any of the company’s social media accounts. 

Also troubling is the fact Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s review embargo doesn’t lift until the day it’s released. 

Director James Wan and Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa – along with Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman – return in the sequel to the highest-grossing DC film of all time: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all. This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.

The screenplay is by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, from a story by James Wan & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Jason Momoa & Thomas Pa’a Sibbett.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom splashes down into theaters on December 22.