James Gunn’s DCU will officially launch only in 2025, but the DC brand is not yet done with the movies from its scrapped DCEU. The last film in that universe, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been making headlines, but not for the reasons you may think. The film is predicted to open with only around $40 million at the box office during the four-day Christmas weekend. DCU fans on X tried to blame the film’s poor hype on Zack Snyder, who exited DC six years ago.
The numbers appear notably weak for a comic book movie, and the film is expected to gross even less than the disastrous opening of $46.1 million for The Marvels. In comparison, the first Aquaman movie collected nearly $93 million in its opening weekend.
James Gunn Fans Blame Zack Snyder For Aquaman 2‘s Poor Hype
While Jason Momoa‘s Aquaman was the only movie from the DCEU to reach the $1 billion mark, its sequel is struggling to live up to the legacy of the original. This comes in the wake of a series of underwhelming outputs from the DC universe and a restructuring decision that scrapped the universe. Aquaman 2 also faced challenges such as the Amber Heard controversy.
@HollywoodHandle reported the news on X regarding the movie’s anticipated lower opening compared to The Marvels. One fan, probably a supporter of James Gunn‘s DCU, had a bizarre response that irritated other fans on the platform. The fan blamed the poor expectations for the movie on Zack Snyder, stating that Snyder’s damage still lingered on the DC brand.
the damage Snyder has done to the DC brand is still affecting them 6 years later💀💀
— Zay⚡️ (@rollupmywrist) December 19, 2023
Other fans were quick to dismiss this criticism. One fan highlighted that people never gave any credit to Snyder for the $1 billion success of Aquaman. Another defended the Man of Steel director, asserting that he had nothing to do with the failures of these films and placed the blame on fake DC fans. A comment pointed out that if the DC brand couldn’t recover from Snyder’s “damage”, then the failure was on their part.
Fans also held Gunn responsible for greenlighting the movie even after scrapping the universe. They expressed that the movie no longer mattered to comic book fans. One fan also criticized Warner Bros., stating that their “course correction” had gone horribly wrong. Some fan reactions read:
You all refused to give Zack any kind of credit for Aquaman 1 for YEARS but now suddenly Aquaman 2 is all on him huh?
— Hype Engine (@TheHypeEngine1) December 20, 2023
Snyder has been gone for over 6 years. He has nothing to do with these failures. Blame yourselves for not showing up to the very films you cried for!
— That boy T (@T23lookatmyfeet) December 19, 2023
if they couldn’t “recover” in that time that’s on them
— Big JΩhn (@JohnWarpower) December 19, 2023
It’s failing because they literally announced they were rebooting the DC films a year ago, and as result the target audience didn’t bother because they felt the 2023 slate didn’t matter anymore.
So it’s all on James Gunn.
— Sergorn Dragon 💉💉💉💉🌈 (@UltimaReturn) December 20, 2023
You don’t seriously believe this
The first 6 movies, whilst Zack was there, are all in the top ten highest-grossing DC movies ever made. After he left, & WB went into full ‘course-correction’ is when the dceu went on a downward spiral from bad to worse
WB are to blame.Obviously
— Stanley Ipkiss (@restoreZSJL) December 20, 2023
Despite the low predictions, Aquaman 2 is the major release of the Christmas weekend and is expected to top the box office. That said, the box office is looking rather lackluster for this Christmas.
Why Is James Gunn’s Aquaman 2 Facing Such A Fate?
Aquaman 2 underwent several test screenings and received poor test scores from the audiences in most of them. The crew reportedly had to reshoot several scenes spanning an additional 7-8 days. Some believe that the film suffers from the same storytelling and execution problems seen in the recent DCEU flops like Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and The Flash.
The film’s $205 million budget will worsen its situation, putting it in a more challenging position than Blue Beetle. The Xolo Maridueña-led film received positive reviews from critics but failed at the box office due to its perceived irrelevance in the bigger DCU picture. Aquaman 2 also faced negative publicity from the Depp v. Heard trial, which saw several dramatic events unfold during the filming process.
James Gunn also has a possible explanation for this low hype surrounding Aquaman 2. He discussed superhero fatigue, sharing that the stories were becoming all too familiar to the audience. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 22, 2023.