DC’s “Aquaman 2” is set to be yet another installation in the ever-growing lineup of superhero films that have sputtered at the box office this year. The sequel to the hit film “Aquaman” stars Jason Mamoa with an appearance from Amber Heard and is set in the lost city of Atlantis as Aquaman must stop supervillain Black Manta from stealing high-tech devices from the magical underwater metropolis.
The opening weekend for the film may not be as magical as the plot, with The Hollywood Reporter suggesting that it may see an even worse financial return in its debut than the most recent flop from the Marvel series, “The Marvels.”
The Hollywood Reporter indicated that the “Aquaman 2” release may only bring in a paltry $37 to $43 million in revenue over its opening weekend, which is set to begin on December 22. This is low even compared to “The Marvels,” which was met with disgust from superhero fans and still managed to reel in $46.1 million on its opening weekend.
It is mentioned in the article, however, that this may be a rough week for all movies as the “Aquaman” sequel appears to be leading the charge on Christmas weekend. According to the film’s listing on IMDB, in the film, “Aquaman balances his duties as king and as a member of the Justice League, all while planning a wedding. Black Manta is on the hunt for Atlantean tech to help rebuild his armor. Orm plots to escape his Atlantean prison.”
The original “Aquaman” was released in 2018 over a similar four-day Christmas weekend and still managed to outperform the expected number of its sequel by a large amount. The film brought in $105.4 on its opening weekend, a respectable number for a character that is not one of the main superheroes in American culture.
Sure, Aquaman is less popular than heroes like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman, so it would be a surprise to see this film perform as well as the top superhero flicks of all time, but to see such a paltry return expected in its opening weekend may be a sign of things to come for the superhero industry which, just recently, look booming and here to stay.
This is the second DC supremo movie of the year, after their live-action movie “The Flash” brought in only slightly more than $100 million in its domestic box office total. “Aquaman 2” is squaring up against “Wonka” and “The Color of Purple,” an Oprah Winfrey Musical production, for the top spot of what may very well be one of the weaker overall box offices of the year.
This has industry executives wondering if there is a greater issue at hand in the market for superhero films. Fans may be turning away from the genre that once ruled Hollywood just a few years agors series, which seemed unstoppable and always atop the list of box office earnings when the year- with the Avengeend was released. Superhero films are now reeling, looking for their next big hits to bring together to create another star-studded series of films.
Featured image credit: By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Jason Momoa, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94225810
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