Aquaman Surpasses The Dark Knight as It Hits $1.02 Billion at Worldwide Box Office

Aquaman Surpasses The Dark Knight as It Hits $1.02 Billion at Worldwide Box Office

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Jason Momoa as Arthur, Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman

  • Aquaman now stands at $1.02 billion, ahead of The Dark Knight
  • If you account for inflation though, it’s still behind
  • Fifth 2018 movie to cross one-billion-dollar mark

Aquaman has now made more money than The Dark Knight at the worldwide box office, after the Jason Momoa-starrer added $45.16 million (about Rs. 319.57 crores) over the weekend, to take its global total to $1.02 billion (about Rs. 7,219.88 crores). The Dark Knight stands at $1.003 billion. That is emblematic of how the global market has grown in the last decade, considering the vast gulf in the critical response to the two movies. (If you were to account for inflation though, The Dark Knight is still ahead.) Aquaman is also the first DC universe title to move past the coveted one-billion-dollar mark, and the second highest-grossing film based on a DC Comics property after The Dark Knight Rises ($1.0849 billion).

Aquaman Is Full of Ocean Wonder, but Also Endless Exposition

Much of the film's success has come from outside its domestic market of the US — 71.8 percent, to be precise. That's $732.4 million (about Rs. 5,182.46 crores) of that $1.020 billion total. China has been far the biggest earner for Aquaman, contributing $287.3 million (about Rs. 2,032.93 crores) since its release there on December 7. Aquaman has earned as much back home, bringing in $287.8 million (about Rs. 2,036.32 crores) across its three-week run in the US. Of the $45.16 million added this weekend, $17.26 million (about Rs. 122.12 crores) came in from the US, while the rest $27.9 million (about Rs. 197.40 crores) was added internationally. Aquaman has yet to open in Japan (February 8), though it's not usually big for DC.

Warner Bros. will no doubt be very pleased with Aquaman's global success, though the film's US run might give it some pause. Despite crossing every previous DC universe film outside the US — its $732.4 million total is higher than The Dark Knight Rises' $636.8 million international gross — Aquaman has been unable to put up a similar strong showing back home. It's only the fifth highest-grossing DC universe film if you only look at US earnings, behind every other entry except the financial disappointment that was Justice League. The mixed critical response may have hurt its prospects, though WB had no trouble cracking the Chinese market, which seems to be increasingly important.

Meanwhile, Aquaman became the fifth movie of 2018 to collect more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, after Black Panther ($1.3469 billion), Avengers: Infinity War ($2.0487 billion), Incredibles 2 ($1.2427 billion), and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.3095 billion). Not since 2015 has Hollywood had such a strong year globally, when Aquaman director James Wan had another billion-dollar earner in Furious 7 ($1.516 billion).


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Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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