Long range tracking for Warner Bros. and DC Films’ latest superhero blockbuster has the James Wan-directed Aquaman swimming to an estimated $40—$60 million in its opening weekend, Box Office reports.
A $60 million opening weekend would put Aquaman in the range of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger ($65.1m), 2003’s Hulk ($62.1m), 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man ($62m), 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($58.1m), and 2015’s Ant-Man ($57.2m).
If Aquaman comes to shore with less than $60 million, it could land somewhere between 2011’s Green Lantern ($53.1m), 2006’s Superman Returns ($52.5m), 2005’s Batman Begins ($48.7m), or 2003’s Daredevil ($40.3m).
Aquaman is the first entry out of the shared DC Extended Universe since November’s Justice League, the team-up crossover that featured Jason Momoa as the aquatic superhero alongside Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck’s Batman. That film, directed first by Zack Snyder before Joss Whedon took over, proved a critical and financial disappointment for Warner Bros. but saw Momoa draw praise for his grizzled take on the classic DC Comics character.
Momoa and leading lady Amber Heard, who plays Mera, are expected to translate to fair appeal for both men and women alongside its star-studded cast, which includes such familiar faces as Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring franchise), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables franchise), Ludi Lin (Power Rangers), Randall Park (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Get Down) and Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies).
According to Box Office, social buzz is comparable to Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man sequel, which opened to $75 million during the summer movie season in July. Aquaman should anticipate a less front-loaded run considering its release just days before Christmas, but is expected to surface as the top option for moviegoers looking for blockbuster spectacle over holiday break.
There is just one week of separation between Aquaman and Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, one of the bigger contenders for Warner Bros.’ box office dollars.
Aquaman will also have to compete with Disney’s live-action family-friendly musical Mary Poppins Returns, opening December 19 and projected at an early $30-$50 million three-day opening weekend, and Paramount’s Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, projected for a $15-$25 million roll out when it opens December 21, the same day as Aquaman.
Reviews and word of mouth are among the biggest factors in Aquaman’s success, as with most superhero movies, as the film competes in the crowded holiday movie-going season.
Warner Bros.’ franchise-launching Man of Steel opened to $116 million in June 2013, topping the $103 million opening weekend earned by Wonder Woman in its June 2017 debut.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released March 2016, holds the biggest opening for a DC Films project at $166 million, with Suicide Squad, released August 2016, coming in at its second-biggest with $133 million.2comments
Justice League holds the lowest opening weekend and overall box office for any DCEU production at $93 million OW and just $657 million worldwide, respectively.
Aquaman opens December 21.