James Wan has done the impossible and made a successful Aquaman movie. When glancing at the hero’s current domination of the global box office, it’s worth remembering that for nearly two decades he’s been the butt of jokes about talking to fish and the idea of his own film being a hit was considered so ridiculous it was parodied in Entourage. Now, with the movie having received broadly positive reviews, a high audience score and proven a big success in international markets, The Hollywood Reporter’s predicting it’ll end up with an impressive $900 million haul.
That whopping total would make it the biggest DC movie since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, which topped out at a massive $1.09 billion. While it might not reach those heights, the film’s probably going to outperform the current most successful DCEU effort, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which beat back a critical mauling to finish with $873.6 million, as well as its runner-up Wonder Woman, which managed $821.8 million.
Of course, this will be a huge vindication for director James Wan, who’d previously claimed that he had such freedom on the movie that responsibility for its success rested solely on his shoulders. Presumably, he can now get financing for any project he dreams up.
It’s also good news for the ongoing DCEU, which has had a pretty wobbly 2018. After the Justice League debacle, I’d have forgiven Warner Bros. for pulling the plug on the project, but even with the (forever rumored but probable) departures of Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck from the franchise, it seems to have regained its balance just in time for the new year.
If Shazam! proves another hit (and it probably will), then expect them to begin ramping up their plans once more, though they may want to stay away from trying anything on the scale of Justice League for a while.