After a successful surge to end 2018, Warner Bros. and DC's Aquaman has made a name for itself as the studio's biggest box office smash, expected to top $200 million domestically and on track to hit $1 billion overseas.
The film will officially bypass 2012's The Dark Knight, DC's previous record holder, when it hits $636 million in its screenings abroad. The final numbers from the New Year's Eve crowd are not yet in, but with Aquaman having taken in $563 million leading up to the end of the year, it looks as though the movie has indeed emerged as the victor in ticket sales. Once the figures from yesterday and today are counted, Aquaman is on pace to claim $800 million, with a clear eye towards reaching the billion-dollar mark before January comes to a close.
With some minor disappointments in recent years, like the under-performance of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Justice League ensemble film, DC is looking to turn things around. Last year's Wonder Woman was a significant step in the right direction, and now Aquaman is supplanting some of its Marvel foes, edging ahead of Spider-Man 3's totals from 2007. That gives the Jason Momoa vehicle a strong third place on the list of most successful solo superhero movies so far, behind Iron Man 3 ($1.2 billion) and Black Panther ($1.34 billion).
Marvel is set to have another monster year at the box office in 2019, with Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home among its upcoming releases, but DC is looking ahead as well. Shazam! is scheduled to hit theaters in the spring, followed by the Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker standalone film. After that, 2020 looks even more promising for DC properties, with titles like Wonder Woman 1984, Cyborg, Birds of Prey and a sequel to Suicide Squad all on its list of likely releases. In the meantime, Aquaman's success ensures it will remain on the big screen for the foreseeable future and continue to bring in big returns for the studio, both domestically and overseas.
Aquaman stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren and Temuera Morrison.