Aquaman is a certifiable hit at the box office. If the movie never makes another nickel, Warner Bros. can officially pop the champagne and bask in the glow of the success that they so dearly needed for the DC brand. To evidence just how successful Jason Momoa's first solo outing as Arthur Curry has been thus far, it's worth pointing out that Aquaman has officially overtaken Guardians of the Galaxy at the box office.
As of this writing, Aquaman has grossed $222.8 million domestically, to go with its ridiculously impressive $623.5 million overseas take, for a grand total of $846.3 million worldwide. That puts it pretty far ahead of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed $773.3 million worldwide during its run in 2014. At the time, that number was considered to be a massive success and surpassed nearly all industry expectations, as director James Gunn's first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a far cry from what fans had come to expect. In that way, Aquaman is similar.
For many years, Aquaman has remained a well-known character within the DC universe, but he's often been the butt of many jokes. Zack Snyder even poked a bit at this with his "I hear you can talk to fish" line from Bruce Wayne in Justice League. With Guardians of the Galaxy, the characters weren't a joke, they were just largely unheard of. In both cases, the resulting movie was something that looked nothing like previous entries in these respective franchises and both went on to become big successes. But Aquaman, looking solely at the box office gross, has been just a bit more successful. It's also worth mentioning, somewhat ironically, that Jason Momoa nearly played Drax in Guardians, a role that ultimately went to Dave Bautista instead.
This is the eleventh MCU movie that Aquaman has already outgrossed and, any day now, it's going to beat Thor: Ragnarok ($854 million) as well as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($863.8 million. Beyond that, it should be able to surpass Spider-Man: Homecoming ($880.2 million) before wrapping up its run. Director James Wan's underwater epic is also on pace to beat Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873.6 million), making it the highest-grossing movie in the current DC movie universe overall, having recently passed Wonder Woman.
Following the disappointing response to Justice League, Warner Bros. needed to shift their strategy with DC and they needed a hit. Luckily, Aquaman has become that hit and, though not quite as heralded as some of the movies it's managed to outgross at the box office, it's done reasonably well with critics and has gone over very well with moviegoers. That's the key. Next up for DC is Shazam in April followed by the Joker origins movie, which takes place outside of this established universe and stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, in October. 2020 will see Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 hit theaters. These numbers were provided by Box Office Mojo.