AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Fails To Make A Splash With Disappointing Thursday Preview Opening

AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Fails To Make A Splash With Disappointing Thursday Preview Opening AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Fails To Make A Splash With Disappointing Thursday Preview Opening

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrived in North American theaters yesterday evening, but there's more bad news for the final DCEU movie because it failed to make a major splash during Thursday previews...

By JoshWilding - Dec 22, 2023 11:12 AM EST

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has already faced the wrath of critics, but the final DCEU movie has also failed to make a splash at the box office during Thursday preview screenings.

The sequel has started its domestic run with a mere $4.5 million; that's half of what Aquaman made in 2018 and well below what The Flash raced to - $9.7 million - when it debuted with slightly more positive reviews back in June. The Scarlet Speedster's first solo outing would go on to make just $55 million during its opening weekend. 

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has the odds stacked against it with a 36% Rotten Tomatoes score and a serious lack of buzz among fans and regular moviegoers alike. 

As things stand, the movie is eyeing a disappointing $40 million debut...over four days (including Christmas Day). Some pundits believe it will barely top $30 million across that period and, when we start looking at the three-day projections, there's a very good chance it will have the lowest opening weekend of any superhero movie this year. 

Aquaman made $67 million during its domestic bow five years ago but ended up grossing $100 million through the holidays. It would go on to exceed expectations globally by earning over $1 billion, though history doesn't look set to repeat itself with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (especially with a noticeable lack of interest in China this time). 

Offering some hope is the fact the movie didn't have the DCEU's worst Thursday evening debut this year; Shazam! Fury of the Gods opened with $3.4 million, while Blue Beetle made $3.3 million. None of 2023's DC offerings has passed $275 million worldwide so it's doubtful Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will. 

Audiences have largely abandoned the DC Universe in 2023, with many blaming DC Studios for kicking off the year with a full-blown DCU slate announcement which made it clear this year's final DCEU offering simply didn't matter. 

Here are spoiler guides for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom:

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Ending Explained: How Does Arthur Curry's Story - And The DCEU - End?
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's Post-Credits Scene Leaks And It Doesn't Sound Worth Waiting For
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Spoilers Reveal Whether Amber Heard's Mera Lives Or Dies In The Movie
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Spoilers: Does Batman Appear In The Final DCEU Movie?
• Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Offers Disappointing Explanation For Willem Dafoe's Absence As Vulko

AQUAMAN & THE LOST KINGDOM Concept Art Spotlights Alternate Mera Costume Designs

AQUAMAN & THE LOST KINGDOM Concept Art Spotlights Alternate Mera Costume Designs

When Will AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Arrive On Max? Streaming Premiere Date Officially Revealed
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When Will AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Arrive On Max? Streaming Premiere Date Officially Revealed

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vectorsigma - 12/22/2023, 11:29 AM
I forgot, so what was the marvels first week?
Izaizaiza - 12/22/2023, 11:33 AM
@vectorsigma - 47 million. They're opening weekend, not sure beyond that
Itwasme - 12/22/2023, 11:33 AM
@vectorsigma - $47mm opening weekend.

But on a serious note, why are people comparing the 2? What does one under performing movie have to do with another?
marvel72 - 12/22/2023, 11:37 AM
@Itwasme - Because comparing opening weekends.
Itwasme - 12/22/2023, 11:47 AM
@marvel72 - that how they are being compared, but not why. The 2 have been compared from the start and I don't get why. There's no real race between them.
JDL - 12/22/2023, 11:51 AM
@vectorsigma - To a great degree being the tail end of a dead in the water (for now) franchise is being fatal which if the film is decent is a shame. As for the Marvels sadly that's a different issue altogether. FWIW I liked CM but I can't ignore how badly the sequel tanked.
Itwasme - 12/22/2023, 12:02 PM
@JDL - personally The Marvels was fine for me. I didn't like how the concluded the story, but overall entertaining and not the train wreck people claimed.

But in today's market fine just doesn't cut it. I also thought Blue Beetle and The Flash were fine too, but that's not enough.
JonC - 12/22/2023, 1:28 PM
@Itwasme - fine definitely doesn't cut it when you have a $100+ million dollar budget.
Itwasme - 12/22/2023, 2:56 PM
@JonC - well yes, but its really difficult to make a movie. No one sets out to do anything other than make something great, it's just really hard to achieve that regardless of budget.

Still, a good, entertaining movie used to be enough. Provide people a good time and have them walk out of the theater happy and you were set. Now, it takes more than that to break through and to be fair quality isn't always the issue. The new Mission Impossible is a great example of that.
JDL - 12/23/2023, 3:56 AM
@Itwasme - I agree. After the weak opening I thought it might just do Ant-Man 2 business even w/o a lot of promotion. Boy was I wrong. Still I'll buy the BR in Feb (guesstimate) and judge it then.
thedrudo - 12/22/2023, 11:30 AM
So crazy how bad this is shaping up. I went yesterday afternoon and had a decent time. Far from perfect but I liked the story better than the first.
Itwasme - 12/22/2023, 11:32 AM
I really liked Blue Beetle, it's a shame it didn't do that well. BO has just gotten worse over the course of the year, so I'm personally putting a bit less stock in it these days. Audiences aren't going to the movies like they used to and until that trend starts to reverse we will may see things continue to trend downward.
lazlodaytona - 12/22/2023, 11:40 AM
@Itwasme - I loved Blue Beatle. I'm shocked it didn't do at least a 'little' better...
ObserverIO - 12/22/2023, 11:40 AM
@Itwasme - I kinda enjoyed Blue Beetle, but it wasn't really worth a trip to the cinema.
mountainman - 12/22/2023, 11:34 AM
It feels like every movie has done poorly since Barbie and Oppenheimer. Hunter Games made a small profit, and some lower budget movies did well, but everything else with a big budget has performed very poorly.

Killers of the Flower Moon, Napoleon, Wish, The Marvels, etc. Nobody is really going to the movies for anything right now.
mountainman - 12/22/2023, 11:36 AM
@mountainman - *Hunger Games. Nobody wants to think about what the crackhead corrupt pedophile Hunter Games would look like 🤢
EZBeast - 12/22/2023, 11:43 AM
@mountainman - shockingly the hunger games is actually going to turn a small profit
ObserverIO - 12/22/2023, 11:51 AM
@mountainman - Those weren't very good though (I didn't see Hunger Games). Maybe Flower Moon was alright, but it wasn't very good for Scorsese.

There are some damn good movies out right now.

Poor Things is my favorite for next years Oscars.

Wonka is actually way better than the trailer made it out to be. Future classic, no lie. Great songs, Chalomet is brilliant. Paul King is cinemas secret weapon.

Godzilla Minus One is apparently the epitome of awesome (will be seeing it as soon as I can do).

Migration is probably another crowd pleaser from Illumination. In fact that could have saved cinemas this Christmas season, but with zero marketing and a sporadic release schedule I guess theatre owners and illumination have missed a trick. Studios probably too busy counting all that money they made from Mario.
ObserverIO - 12/22/2023, 11:52 AM
@mountainman - Also, you've sold a ticket for Hunter Games, I wanna see that.
GeneralZod - 12/22/2023, 12:24 PM
@mountainman - It's the value proposition, and it's all Hollywood's doing. Are you gonna take the fam to the movies and spend ~ $70 to $90 (between tickets and food) for a movie that is likely gonna be meh ... or stay home and watch a quality film on Netflix for almost free such as Maestro? The demise of movie theaters might be coming sooner than we expected.
CoHost - 12/22/2023, 1:14 PM
@mountainman - Killers of the Flower Moon did well all things considered.
MotherGooseUPus - 12/22/2023, 1:43 PM
@mountainman - it seems people are sick of spending +$15/ticket and whatever concessions cost these days to see movies when they can sit at home with a big ass tv, surround sound and food for 1/5th the price, rather then spending their hard earned money.

I for one LOVE going to the movies for the giant screen and expeience but i get why people dont want to go anymore. personally i have dialed wayyyy back what i saw this year. I think i only saw 3 movies:

MI DR Part I
Godzilla Minus One

Anyways, i kno moving forward i will go see what i want and spend the money cuz it's a "hobby" and i enjoy it, but i get its not for everyone.
mountainman - 12/22/2023, 2:16 PM
@MotherGooseUPus - There are many drivers for the downturn in theater attendance, but cost and access at home have to be some of the top ones.

I don’t know if this problem is reversible. Maybe better movies could get more people to show up, but I don’t think we ever see the pre-2020 levels again.
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