Going by its strong run, Aquaman could enter the list of highest Hollywood grossers of all time in India
'A visual treat', 'a piece of art' and 'the finest movie of 2018' are some of the compliments that Indian movie-goers are giving to DC’s recent offering Aquaman. Audience have even called director James Wan a saviour, especially after the studio’s previous superhero flicks not generating enough enthusiasm.
The Jason Momoa-starrer has raked in Rs 39 crore so far and is inching close to the Rs 50-crore mark. Going by its strong run, the film could enter the list of highest Hollywood grossers of all time in India.
The film, which also has a strong environmental message, earned strong numbers on day one with collections to the tune of Rs 7.75 crore (including Thursday evening’s paid previews). Other films from the DC Extended Universe like Wonder Woman or Justice League, which brought all the DC comic superheroes on the big screen, minted Rs 2.5 crore and Rs 5.6 crore, respectively.
Aquaman’s opening weekend collection is better than that of Man of Steel, one of the best performers from the DC Universe even in India. While the king of underseas has minted Rs 25 crore approximately in its first three days (day 2- Rs 8 crore, day three- Rs 9.25 crore), the Superman flick made Rs 21 crore.
Aquaman, which released in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu across cinemas in India in 3D & IMAX 3D, stood strong at the Indian box office despite competition from Rajinikanth’s 2.0 and Sara Ali Khan’s Kedarnath.
Aquaman’s business signals at an uptick in the performance of DC films, especially when the studio is all set to offer more such ventures. Trailer for Shazam is already out, based on the DC comic about a boy with the ability to transform into an adult superhero.
Until the release of Aquaman, Wonder Woman was the only film that did not receive sharp criticism. The magnum opus Justice League, which did not deliver a strong performance on its home turf, did rule Indian box office but its collections were not very strong.
It was with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the highest scoring DCEU film in India, that Warner Bros had claimed that it has launched DC cinematic universe. But the real credit for the success of this universe would first go to Aquaman and then Wonder Woman.
It has been a yearlong wait for DCEU fans after the release of Justice League, which could have proved beneficial for Aquaman. But this also makes the film’s success crucial and chances are that it may enter the league of other solo superhero movie successes.
The ill-fated Justice League prompted the makers to not chase the Marvel model of interconnected films. In fact, DC is now focusing on standalone films that are wildly different from one another. And Aquaman is a test of the single superhero formula. Other projects which will be unconnected with the film universe in the pipeline are The Flash, Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, a Joker & Harley Quinn spin-off, Batgirl, New Gods, Man of Steel 2 among others.
While Aquaman is spreading its magic in India, it is yet to release in the US. The film’s performance in key international market has got itself the title of the number one movie internationally during the December 14 weekend, ahead of its US debut on December 21, according to a Box Office Mojo report.What will be interesting to watch is whether Aquaman will hold its ground in India after the release of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zero.