As the Christmas box-office news slowly drips out, there is one clear king: Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. The last superanh hùng tale at the end of a long year for superhero films has proven an unqualified hit, raking in an estimated $500 million worldwide và on traông chồng khổng lồ potentially pull in $100 million domestically as early as Wednesday. This win for Warner Bros. comes with a bit of a disappointment for rival studio Disney, which saw a comparatively underwhelming reception for its holiday offering Mary Poppins Returns only drawing in $38.4 million domestically after nearly a week in theaters. But a weak December for Disney is far less significant than this late-in-the-year box-office win for Warner Bros. & the DC Extended Universe—both of which desperately needed a shot in the arm.

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For the last three years, Disney has ruled supreme over the holidays, with Star Wars films The Force Awakens, Rogue One, và The Last Jedi not only dominating the holiday box office but winding up as the most profitable films of their respective years. But with Lucasfilm’s relatively muted Solo: A Star Wars Story premiering in May, Disney left the December crown wide-open for Aquaman lớn swyên ổn right up and snatch it. But even if Mary Poppins Returns continues khổng lồ underperkhung, & Aquaman shoots up the annual box-office charts, Disney will likely still wrap up an incredibly profitable 2018 with half of the top-10 performing films of the year: Solo, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Incredibles 2, Avengers: Infinity War, và the unstoppable Blaông xã Panther. The juggernaut studio is also set to lớn have sầu an even bigger 2019 with both the Fox merger expected khổng lồ finally close & a groaning slate including Captain Marvel, Dumbo, The Lion King, Aladdin, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, &, bachồng to clayên the holidays, both Frozen 2 & Star Wars: Episode IX.

Everyone concerned about the spirit of competition in Hollywood should be rooting for Aquaman’s continued climb up the money-making charts. Despite both the box-office success of và awards season buzz for A Star Is Born as well as Crazy Rich Asians, WB has yet to lớn anchor a single film into lớn the trang đầu box office ranks of the year. (The Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga hit is currently sitting at number 11.) After only a few days in theaters, Aquaman isn’t in yet, but if the film winds up having a long tail, it could easily get there, pushing Sony’s similarly likable-yet-messy Venom out of the number 10 spot.

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Both Venom & Aquaman also offer potentially brighter futures for two superhero franchises that are about to face the post-merger prospect of the already dominant Marvel Studios absorbing the X-Men, Fantastic Four, & other Fox properties inlớn its Avengers stable. Aquaman’s robust box-office showing has already sent Warner Bros. lớn work on early development for a sequel, giving the wobbly Justice League franchise its first hint of stability since Wonder Woman vastly over-performed last year.


And while it seems a bit unfair to lớn Hotline the fun and fine Aquaman a win over Disney, when that studio produced one of the most genre-elevating films of the year with February’s Black Panther, what’s true of both the Momoa vehicle and Tom Hardy’s Venom is that they both showed clear promise for stronger, more sure-footed sequels. Disney may still be on the precipice of total studio domination, but Aquaman proves there are at least a few other heroes and antiheroes in the set lớn keep things competitive sầu.


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