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‘Aquaman 2’ Makes $4.5 Million in Previews

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Aquaman is slowly swimming his way back to theaters, but he may get washed up at the box office.

The latest DC Universe movie, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” has made $4.5 million in Thursday previews at the domestic box office.

The superhero sequel, which marks the final installment of the DCEU before it gets rebooted by DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran, is shaping up to be the latest misfire this year, after “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” disappointed during their box office runs.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is expected to make between $35 million to $40 million in the four-day holiday weekend, which includes Christmas Day on Monday. It’s lower than the $67 million start the original “Aquaman” had five years ago in 2018, but that movie surfed to an astounding $335 million in North America and $1.15 billion globally. 

In Thursday previews, the first “Aquaman” made $9 million. For this year’s DC movies, “The Flash” had $9.7 million ($55 million opening); “Blue Beetle” made $3.3 million ($25.4 million opening) and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” made $3.4 million ($30.5 million opening). Last year’s “Black Adam” collected $7.6 million in previews on its way to a $67 million opening. On the Marvel side, the most recent release, “The Marvels,” made $6.6 million in previews for a $47 million opening.

Jason Momoa’s undersea hero returns in the latest movie and teams up with his reformed brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) to take down the villainous Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Matteen II). There’s plenty of 3D action, underwater creatures and powerful tridents in this outing, but don’t expect Momoa’s Aquaman to show up in Gunn and Safran’s new DC Universe. Starting with “Superman: Legacy” in 2025, the entire DC Comics world will be wiped clean with a new cast of characters.

A diverse group of other films are opening this weekend, including Universal and Illumination’s animated “Migration,” Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell’s romantic comedy “Anyone but You” from Sony and A24’s sports biopic “The Iron Claw” starring Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White. There’s also last week’s box office champ, “Wonka” starring Timothée Chalamet, which is looking to add $21 million to $23 million in its second weekend.

“Migration,” about a family of ducks who travel south for the winter, is on track to fly to $12 million to $15 million in the four-day weekend. It made $1.5 million in previews. “The Iron Claw” and “Anyone but You” are on track for $5 million to $6 million. “Anyone but You” made $1.2 million in previews.

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