James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is generating excitement as it is set to release in China two days before its North American release, on Dec. 20. The anticipation among film buffs and analysts is high as the original Aquaman was a huge success in China, earning $93 million in its opening weekend and a total of $291.8 million, making it the highest-grossing DC movie of all time. However, the pandemic has seen a decline in U.S. franchise films and superhero sequels in China. For example, The Marvels opened with just $11.5 million, marking an all-time low for an MCU opening weekend in China. Similarly, DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash underperformed in China. As a result, many are eager to see if Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom can break this trend and revive the box-office success of Hollywood studios in China.
Aquaman 2 has the potential to benefit from the recent resolution of the SAG-AFTRA strike, allowing its stars to attend red carpet events and make promotional appearances. However, there is a lack of focused local marketing campaigns for Hollywood films in the post-pandemic period in China, which could be partially responsible for the diminished earnings. Whether the studio will plan a promotional tour for the movie with its stars like Jason Momoa and Amber Heard remains to be seen.
The film’s release date has been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and studio changes. This has built anticipation for the film, as it has been a long-awaited release for many fans. Despite the setbacks and reshoots, audiences are eagerly anticipating the latest installment in the DCEU.
James Wan’s track record in China is impressive, with his Fast and Furious films being among the biggest U.S. box-office hits in the country. The Lost Kingdom, which reunites Aquaman with Orm Marius and Black Manta, is the final film in the DCEU, setting the stage for a new universe to be launched by James Gunn and Peter Safran.
In conclusion, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has the potential to revitalize the box-office success of Hollywood studios in China. With a strong track record in the country, a dedicated fan base, and the anticipation for the film’s release, all eyes are on James Wan’s latest superhero sequel to see if it can break the trend and reignite the excitement for U.S. franchise films in China.