'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' Expected to Underperform at the Box Office This Christmas

The highly-anticipated film 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' is projected to have a disappointing box office debut over the Christmas weekend.


Underwhelming Projections for 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom'

According to tracking, 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,' the sequel to the successful 2018 film, may only earn $37 million to $43 million in its domestic box office debut over the four-day Christmas weekend. This would be a significant drop in comparison to the first installment's opening weekend and would also fall short of the recent box office disappointment, 'The Marvels,' from rival Marvel Studios.

Despite underwhelming projections, 'Aquaman 2' is still likely to come out on top during what is expected to be a lackluster Christmas weekend. The film, directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa, concludes a year in which superhero movies have struggled at the box office.

Challenges for Holiday Box Office

The release of 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' is accompanied by several other films opening on Friday, followed by more releases on Christmas Day. However, overall revenue for the holiday weekend does not look promising. Additionally, having the holiday fall on a Monday, with Christmas Eve seeing a dip in moviegoing and Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, further affects the potential success of films this weekend.

In 2018, the first 'Aquaman' film opened to an impressive $67.9 million over the three-day weekend and reached a domestic total of $105.4 million by Christmas Day. The film went on to earn $335.1 million domestically and $1.15 billion globally. However, the sequel, which has faced delays and reshoots, is unlikely to reach those numbers, signaling a more subdued end to this era of DC films before the planned reboot with 'Superman: Legacy' in 2025.

Competition and Expectations for Other Films

In addition to 'Aquaman,' Warner Bros. has two other holiday event movies: 'Wonka' and 'The Color Purple.' 'Wonka,' starring Timothée Chalamet, opened last week with a promising $39 million and is expected to be the second highest-grossing film of the weekend with $20 million to $23 million. Some predict that 'Wonka' may ultimately earn the top spot among year-end holiday releases.

Meanwhile, Illumination and Universal are releasing the original animated film 'Migration' on Friday, aiming to test the market for animated movies and original stories. Tracking suggests that 'Migration' will gross $14 million to $15 million over the four-day weekend. In November, Disney Animation faced criticism when 'Wish' opened to $31.6 million over the five-day Thanksgiving period, including $19.7 million for the weekend.

This weekend, 'Migration' is expected to rank third, followed by Columbia's romantic-comedy 'Anyone but You' with an estimated $6 million to $8 million. A close race is anticipated between these two films and A24's wrestling family drama 'The Iron Claw,' starring Zac Efron. Additionally, there are several awards contenders expanding their releases during the holiday season.