It may be the sequel to the highest-grossing entry in the shared superhero universe, but that doesn’t seem to becounting for much when it comes to early box office tracking for the DC Extended Universe swansong Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
According to projections, the Jason Momoa-led sequel is on course for a domestic box office opening weekend of between $32 million and $42 million, which – even at the top end – would put it lower than two of the year’s high profile superhero flops, The Flash ($55 million) and The Marvels ($47 million).
The first Aquaman opened domestically to $68 million back in 2019 and went on to show incredible stamina at the box office, earning $335 million domestically and a further $816.9 million worldwide. Hopes would naturally have been high for the sequel, although the film has found itself caught up in all of the DC Films/DC Studios turmoil over the past couple of years which has forced numerous reshoots (and multiple Batmen on the cutting room floor to keep up with continuity).
Should tracking prove accurate, then Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will round out a turgid year for DC, with Shazam: Fury of the Gods, The Flash and Blue Beetle all tanking at the box office as new DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran cleared the decks ahead of their upcoming reboot.
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.
All returning to the roles they originated, Jason Momoa plays Arthur Curry/Aquaman, now balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father; Patrick Wilson is Orm, Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, who must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally; Amber Heard is Mera, Atlantis’ Queen and mother of the heir to the throne; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is Black Manta, committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis; and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, a fierce leader and mother with the heart of a warrior. Also reprising their roles are Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus and Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrives in cinemas on December 22nd.