Aquaman just officially crossed a massive box office milestone.
The James Wan film is joining the elite $1 billion club at the global box office — and is still going. As of Monday, the December release has officially made $1.02 worldwide.
This marks the first time a DC Comics title has made a billion since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 billion in 2012). It also edges out long-time DC fan-favorite The Dark Knight (which made $1.004 billion in 2008 — though Aquaman has a decade of rising ticket prices tipping its side of the scale).
In 2018, four other movies hit the billion mark (Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2).
As pointed out by Forbes, this makes Aquaman only the 37th movie to hit $1 billion and puts director Wan in a rarified league that includes names like Nolan, Michael Bay, Peter Jackson and James Cameron.
The biggest grosser of all-time remains Cameron’s Avatar ($2.8 billion). Interestingly, Cameron’s next film is, of course, the long-awaited Avatar 2 which, like Aquaman, also will introduce a fantastical underwater world. Cameron pioneered a new technique for using motion-capture technology for filming actors inside a tank of water for the film (Aquaman largely used “dry for wet” soundstages and added the water effects digitally).
A sequel to Aquaman has yet to be announced, likely due to behind the scenes negotiations (Wan’s agent has to be in a rather great bargaining position right now).
Aquaman has been helped enormously by its box office performance in China, where it’s racked up about $300 million. In fact, $732 million of Aquaman’s haul has been from overseas making it the second-biggest international title in Warner Bros.’ history.
Domestically, Aquaman has been far more modest, grossing $287 million — where it still ranks below Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman. Heck, even Suicide Squad made more in the States than Aquaman.
Still, a billion’s a billion. Jeez Aquaman, what do you think you are, a Marvel movie?