This weekend, Aquaman made its biggest splash yet. The DC film earned a substantial $1 billion in ticket sales at the global box office. Not too shabby for a movie about a guy who can talk to fish.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the studio's latest superhero offering has amassed a total of $1.02 billion worldwide. It joins the ranks of other DC films that have reached this box office milestone. The perennial fan-favorite Dark Knight previously earned $1.004 billion in 2008, while The Dark Knight Rises earned $1.08 billion when it hit the big screen in 2012. Aquaman is the third DC movie to join the billionaire's club. According to Forbes, it's also the eighth-highest grossing superhero movie in history, following three Avengers installments, Black Panther, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War, and The Dark Knight Rises.
China is responsible for the film's exponential increase in earnings. Aquaman garnered a whopping $300 million there alone. The other $732 million it managed to scrape up were directly from its international audience. Stateside, though, it only grossed $287 million — $38 million less than the universally panned Suicide Squad earned.
Considering the film's mixed reviews and lukewarm reception at the domestic box office, Aquaman is a testament to the importance of investing in bankable stars. Had the studio not cast Jason Momoa as the king of the Atlantis, it wouldn't have seen success of this magnitude. The film is DC's last-ditch effort to save the DC Extended Universe from drowning, and thanks to Momoa's star power (and incredible performance), it's managed to stay afloat. For now.
This isn't the first time one actor has carried a film to success. Deadpool, an anti-hero who wasn't that popular to begin with, wouldn't have been so wildly successful if it weren't for Ryan Reynolds. The Fast and Furious franchise wouldn't have seen a bajillion more installments if The Rock and Vin Diesel weren't so entertaining playing cat and mouse on the screen. And can you imagine if Margot Robbie wasn't cast as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad? It would have been a major flop, no doubt about it.
Given Aquaman's success, it isn't all that surprising Jason Momoa and Amber Heard topped IMDB's STARmeter. According to the site, the ranking exists to "provide a snapshot of who's popular based on the searches of millions of IMDb users." Updated on a weekly basis, it changes based on who's the talk of the town at any given moment and determines "which events affect public awareness."
This is all to say Momoa just might be the hottest (literally and figuratively) actor right now.
Where is the Aquaman sequel? We're waiting!