Because we truly live in the wackiest timeline of human existence imaginable, Aquaman is now officially the highest-grossing DC Comics film of all time. According to Box Office Mojo, James Wan‘s undersea epic hit the $1.09 billion mark at the worldwide box office this weekend, surpassing Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises, which hauled in $1.08 billion worldwide back in 2012.
Just to put this in perspective, the latest standalone Superman film, Man of Steel, topped out at $668 million worldwide, while a movie featuring the whole-ass Justice League reached just $657.9 million. The closest box office to Aquaman of Warner Bros.’ current DCEU era belongs to Wonder Woman, which ended its run with $821 million worldwide.
Aquaman was pretty divisive among critics, not entirely surprising considering it’s an insane movie in which Jason Momoa rides a Lovecraftian sea monster out from the core of the Earth. But still, this box office take is significant, and it’ll be fascinating to see what lessons, if any, Warner Bros. implements from the experience in the coming years. Aquaman was several thousand nautical miles removed from the grimdark tone of Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice($873.6 million worldwide), which morphed into that weird “everything is fine” feeling on the half-Snyder, half-Joss Whedon joint Justice League, which was “lighthearted” the same way Stockholm Syndrome is romantic. But Aquaman was a genuinely joyous, well-earned turn for the DCEU, one that it’s worth noting included very little crossover with other DC properties. WB’s upcoming slate, at least, seems to be following that same path, with standalone films like Shazam! and Birds of Prey eyeing fun over fists. (Todd Phillips‘ Joker movie seems to be getting the dark and gritty treatment, but that film is reportedly betting with a lot less money.)
Of course, the question now isn’t if, but when we’ll officially be getting news about an Aquaman 2. Last we heard, the studio wants to set this ship a-sailin’ ASAP, but Wan is waiting on a worthwhile script until he officially signs on. Which, you know, duh.