Unlikely DC Movie Everyone Expected to Flop Hit $433M Jackpot at Box Office

Unlikely DC Movie Everyone Expected to Flop Hit $433M Jackpot at Box Office
Image credit: Warner Bros.

While everyone expected Momoa’s latest maritime outing to bomb, it went on to become DC’s highest-grossing movie since 2018; but did it break even on budget?


  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was severely undermarketed and largely forgotten before its release.
  • Despite that and its massive $205M, the movie still collected over $433M at the box office and didn’t flop.
  • While its haul isn’t exactly stunning in comparison with the original’s $1.1B, Aquaman 2 did surprisingly well considering the circumstances.

Amid the controversial Depp/Heard trial which almost saw the movie’s co-lead fired, the general superhero fatigue, and the scary lack of marketing Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom had, there were next to no reasons to expect any positive results from it. Most fans buried the movie in a watery grave long before it was even released, but in the most miraculous fashion, Jason Momoa proved everyone wrong once again.

Aquaman 2 Hits a Box Office Jackpot

Against all odds, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom managed to collect well over $433.6M at the global box office. While the movie only earned $123M from the domestic market, the international audience more than made up for it, adding just under $310M to its total haul and making Aquaman 2 the most commercially successful DC movie since 2018 — which is just unfathomably bizarre, we know.

Unlikely DC Movie Everyone Expected to Flop Hit $433M Jackpot at Box Office - image 1

What might come as an ever bigger surprise, though, is that despite its obnoxiously overblown production budget, Jason Momoa’s latest superhero outing still managed to become profitable. The movie’s total box office haul of $433M is more than twice larger than its $205M budget, meaning it broke even and even earned some on top.

Better yet, thanks to Aquaman 2’s virtually non-existent marketing, the usual “Budget x2” rule doesn’t apply to this movie, so it brought in more profit than it may seem.

Fans Shocked by Aquaman 2’s Box Office Haul

Unlikely DC Movie Everyone Expected to Flop Hit $433M Jackpot at Box Office - image 2

Considering how forgotten and undermarketed Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was, the general public was absolutely convinced that the movie would bomb. Its solid box office result came unexpected to most fans, to say the least.

“Remarkable, honestly, given the almost non-existent marketing. WB gave up on the DCEU completely after The Flash and didn’t try, and I think that’s what got people into seats out of curiosity. Also Wan, and ‘cause the first Aquaman was great,” X (formerly Twitter) user andrew_mohrman wrote.

However, some fans didn’t exactly buy into the whole “sudden success” thing, explaining that Aquaman 2 should be compared with its original installment, not random flops.

“This is a Transformers: The Last Knight level disaster. The only reason people are running with this as a good thing is because of just HOW bad it was set to do. The original film made a BILLION dollars, and audiences loved it. This couldn't even crack half of that,” TomMCJL pointed out.

While this is also true, the circumstances of Aquaman 2’s release were so dire that even this result can only be considered a win.

Did you watch Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?