Warner Bros. is going to keep making DC movies until the end of time, so it’s not as if the studio’s entire comic book blockbuster future hinges on the success of Aquaman. However, after the financial disaster of Justice League, which lost WB up to $100 million, the DC Universe could really use a box office win to shore up its future. As things stand now, Aquaman could very well be a massive victory on that front.
The film has already collected nearly $300 million overseas, including a staggering $200 million in China alone. That kind of foreign business sets it up for a huge worldwide total (our predictions may have been too modest). Ahead of its U.S. debut this weekend, tracking projections peg Aquaman for a three-day opening of between $65 million and $75 million, and a five-day holiday opening of $120 million, per Deadline.
Remember, aside from installments from the world-gobbling Star Wars franchise, Christmas releases have a reputation for softer openings, but longer staying power. Dwayne Johnson’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opened to $36 million over the holiday weekend in 2017 before racking up $404 million domestic. Avatar hauled in “just” $77 million in its first frame before cruising to an unfathomable $760 million in North America. While Jason Momoa isn’t quite The Rock or James Cameron, Aquaman‘s crowd-pleasing spectacle is sure to be a hit with kids and families. The movie is pretty dumb, but a whole lot of fun.
Given Aquaman‘s hot start overseas and friendly late-December release slate (January is relatively bare outside of M. Night Shyamalan’s mid-major Glass), there’s a good chance it could break out as the DC Universe’s top-grossing film. While it may not top Wonder Woman‘s $412 million domestic, it certainly has a shot of outperforming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s $873 million worldwide. With the movie’s $200 million budget, Warner Bros. is certainly hoping that’s in the cards.