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Beyond the Superhero Boom: What's at Stake for 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' in a Changing Box Office Landscape?

The highly anticipated final installment of the DCEU film, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," is set to hit theaters on December 22. What can we expect from this sequel to the world-renowned blockbuster?


The highly anticipated final installment of the DCEU film, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," is set to hit theaters on December 22. What can we expect from this sequel to the world-renowned blockbuster?


       

(Official posters of the “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”)

 

The sequel to the stellar "Aquaman" (2018) is currently under profound discussion, largely due to recent disappointments in the superhero genre. Critics have grouped it together with "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," "The Flash," and "Blue Beetle," indicating less-than-rosy prospects. These films have not experienced great success in recent years.

 

Box Office Pro's long-range forecast for the premiere is not optimistic either. The outlet suggests that the domestic run could range from a mediocre $105 million to a decent $168 million. Considering the studio has already invested $205 million in this new Aquaman production, and with marketing costs potentially exceeding $100 million, the movie needs to significantly outperform expectations at the box office, which seems unlikely—at least for now.

 

Despite "Aquaman" (2018) being the highest-grossing film in the DC Extended Universe, the sequel is not expected to surpass it. An argument can be made that casual viewers may have lost interest in this genre, particularly in light of lackluster box office results from Marvel and DC this year.




(Warner Bros. Pictures)


However, there is hope that the holiday season will provide a boost, carrying the film into the New Year. "The Lost Kingdom" stands out among the crowded winter lineup by appealing to older, male-identifying audiences. While most Christmas releases target children and families, such as Illumination's "Migration" and Warner Bros.' very own "Wonka," "Aquaman" is poised to find an audience of all ages, especially during the Christmas holidays.

 

The story unfolds several years after the events of the first film. Aquaman is compelled to protect Atlantis and his loved ones from devastation when an ancient power is unleashed by Black Manta, who obtains the cursed Black Trident. To achieve this, he must seek help from an unlikely ally—his brother Orm.

(Warner Bros. Pictures)





/Yulianna Shalenyk



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