Aquaman 2 could face a more severe box office decline than The Marvels

The highly anticipated release of Aquaman 2 is generating considerable speculation as it heads toward its December premiere, with predictions suggesting the film may encounter a substantial box office decline, potentially exceeding the lackluster performance of The Marvels. While the original Aquaman film proved to be a surprise blockbuster in 2018, earning over a billion dollars globally and $335 million domestically, the cinematic landscape has evolved, and audiences now grapple with superhero fatigue resulting from an overwhelming influx of content from both Marvel and DC.

The recent underwhelming opening of The Marvels, which earned a mere $47 million in its debut weekend despite receiving favorable reviews from critics, adds to the apprehension surrounding the performance of Aquaman 2. Projections indicate that the sequel may fall significantly short of its predecessor, with an estimated opening weekend range of $32-$42 million. Even in the best-case scenario, this projection is five million dollars below The Marvels’ opening weekend figures. The forecast raises concerns among superhero enthusiasts, especially considering that The Marvels experienced the worst opening weekend in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Early indicators suggest that pre-sales for The Lost Kingdom show a modest lead of 25% over Shazam! Fury of the Gods, another DC film that faced challenges at the box office earlier in the year. The anticipated domestic total for Aquaman 2 is estimated to be in the range of $105-$168 million. However, despite the potential disappointment in domestic box office performance, there remains optimism that Aquaman 2 could fare better internationally. The first Aquaman film garnered a significant portion of its billion-dollar global box office from international sales, including a remarkable $292 million from China alone, setting a record for sales in the country.

The Marvels' doesn't live up to expectations – The Echo

Additionally, the sequel’s release aligns with a relatively sparse holiday film lineup, minimizing major competition in theaters. While there are some positive aspects in the outlook for The Lost Kingdom, overall indicators suggest another lackluster debut for this Christmas release. Scheduled to hit theaters on December 22, 2023, Aquaman 2, directed by James Wan and featuring Jason Momoa and Amber Heard reprising their roles, will serve as a significant test for superhero fatigue among audiences. Its performance may also play a role in shaping the future trajectory of comic book adaptations, or conversely, serve as evidence of DC’s evolving fortunes within the cinematic landscape.

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