There were plenty of question marks surrounding Aquaman‘s chances of box office success when it was gearing up for release two years ago, with Arthur Curry having been reduced to the butt of many a joke, while the character didn’t hold much cache with general audiences. Those concerns weren’t eased by the Justice League debacle alienating a huge chunk of the fanbase, either, with James Wan’s underwater epic being the first installment in the DCEU to follow in the wake of the maligned theatrical cut.
Any fears on the part of the Warner Bros. hierarchy were quickly dispelled, though, when Aquaman turned out to be a much bigger hit than even the most optimistic of projections could have hoped, racing past a billion dollars globally to surpass The Dark Knight Rises and become the highest-grossing DC Comics adaptation ever made.
After years of watching the DCEU take itself far too seriously, the pic was a breath of fresh air that embraced the sheer stupidity of the concept and delivered an unashamedly loud and cheesy blockbuster, equivalent to a cinematic sugar rush. Some fans might be threatening to boycott the sequel based on the continued involvement of Amber Heard, but insider Daniel Richtman now claims that the studio are so confident in Aquaman 2 that it’ll reportedly have the biggest budget of any DCEU movie yet.
The first installment came in at a hefty $200 million, and the most expensive production in the franchise’s history is the troubled Justice League, which ran up a bill of $300 million plus change. If WB are really planning on increasing Aquaman 2‘s capital by 33%, then they better hope that the anti-Heard mob don’t stick to their guns and hit them in the pocket when the second outing arrives in December 2022.