Aquaman is now the highest-grossing film of all-time in the DC universe, thanks to an $86.9 million (about Rs. 607.03 crores) weekend haul, which took its worldwide box office gross to $940.72 million (about Rs. 6,571.39 crores). The Jason Momoa-starrer has now earned more than all his superhero counterparts since the inception of DC’s shared universe in 2013, including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6 million), Wonder Woman ($821.8 million), Suicide Squad ($746.8 million), Man of Steel ($668 million), and Justice League ($657.9 million). Aquaman is now the third highest-grossing film of all-time based on a DC Comics property, below The Dark Knight ($1.003 billion) and The Dark Knight Rises ($1.084 billion).

The highly-coveted one-billion-dollar figure is now within Aquaman’s range, given how it has performed. Of the $86.9 million it added this weekend, $30.7 million (about Rs. 214.48 crores) came in from its domestic market of the US, while the rest $56.2 million (about Rs. 392.58 crores) was added from 79 international markets. The US/non-US split now stands at $259.7 million (about Rs. 1,814.13 crores) and $681 million (about Rs. 4,757.46 crores) — that’s 27.6 to 72.4 percent, which tilts towards the latter more than any other DC Comics movie. Part of that is the release schedule; Aquaman released in China on December 7, where it has made the most with $282.8 million (about Rs. 1,975.45 crores), before moving to the US on December 21. (In India, it released on December 14.)

Aquaman has made more in China than any other superhero movie, except Avengers: Infinity War ($359.54 million), despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, including us. Its outsized performance in China, in addition to Venom’s own recent brilliant haul in the Asian nation, suggests China will increasingly be an ever-important market for superhero movies from American studios. The $282.8 million-haul for Aquaman in China is nearly $250 million more than the next non-US market, South Korea ($35.3 million). And thanks to China, Aquaman has now made more outside than the US than any DC film ever, besting The Dark Knight Rises’ previous record of $636.8 million (about Rs. 4,448.27 crores).

If you were to place Aquaman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe box office table, it would rank as the seventh highest-grossing film. Warner Bros. will no doubt be pleased with that, as it continues to battle it out with Disney-owned Marvel Studios in the realm of superheroes. It’s too bad then that none of DC’s primary heroes will be in action this year — Wonder Woman 1984 arrives June 2020, Matt Reeves is still developing a solo Batman movie, and Superman is reportedly being reburied and looked over for Supergirl — with Shazam! next in action in April, followed by a standalone Joker origin movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead, in October.


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