Aquaman, DCEU's underwater thriller starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, and Willem Dafoe, has been the subject of both negative and positive feedback since its release.
Aquaman had the lowest domestic box office opening for the DC Extended Universe, but the film has seen tremendous success abroad. The James Wan-directed film has scored itself the second-highest rating among DC films—with 63% on Rotten Tomatoes—and is on track to rake in an astonishing $1 billion. Over the Christmas holiday alone, the film experienced $550+ in international box office receipts. The film opened for international audiences before debuting here at home, and the extra screen time has proved to be pivotal in the film's profitable success.
Aquaman didn't receive as much pre-release hype as other superheros like Batman or Superman statistically do. Additionally, Justice League, which was Momoa's premiere as the underwater epic, received less-than-positive reviews in addition to underperforming at the box office.
Despite early tales of failure, Mark Hughes of Forbes reports that by the end of January 2019, Aquaman should have cemented its place as the third-highest-grossing film within the DCEU library, only trailing behind Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman, in addition to pulling in between $900 million and $1 billion. A large portion of the international success can be attributed to China, where the film brought in a record $24.6 million during its opening weekend, making it the highest-grossing Warner Bros. film in the country.
The clear success the film has experienced signals there will undoubtedly be a sequel, in addition to establishing the Aquaman character as a staple within the broader DC Extended Universe.