To say that Warner has a lot riding on ‘Aquaman’ is an understatement. That’s kind of an odd thing to say for what was intended to be a movie more along the lines of ‘Wonder Woman‘ – that is to say a blockbuster but not a tentpole of the studio’s DC slate in the same way that ‘Justice League’ was. Of course, that was before the aforementioned ‘Justice League’ tanked at the box office and Warner scrambled to rethink their entire DC film strategy. Now, a year later, ‘Aquaman’ is either the first of a new era or the last of the old. Exactly which one it turns out to be will probably come down to how well it does at the box office, but if the latest reports are anything to go by, fans and studio suits alike have reason to be optimistic.
Not only have the early critical reactions been unusually strong for a DC movie (full reviews are still embargoed, but, well, take a moment to search Twitter), but the early box office projections are currently sitting somewhere around $65 million for opening weekend. Both of these factors have combined to give Warner chairman Toby Emmerich enough confidence in the movie that sequel talks have already begun, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It’s still early, and it would be easy to take the cynical approach and write this off as a simple show of confidence. But while we can’t rule out that possibility, it’s every bit as likely that Warner’s DC efforts have finally turned a corner. This writer certainly hopes that’s the case. But either way, we’ll find out soon.
The next installment in the DC Extended Universe, ‘Aquaman’ has been helmed by director James Wan and stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, and Nicole Kidman. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 21, 2018.