Every DC movie box office total: Aquaman 2 gross estimate, and biggest DCEU flops from The Flash to Shazam!

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The DCEU hopes to break its box office record with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

The DC extended universe (DCEU), the studio’s answer to the MCU, began in 2013 with Man of Steel, and continues this weekend with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, a sequel to the 2018 Aquaman origin film.

But the DCEU has hardly managed to eclipse Marvel’s success - its entire slate of movies over the last decade has made $6.7 billion at the box office. That’s an impressive sum, but accounts for around $3 billion less than Marvel’s best two years combined.

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And like Marvel, DC is struggling to maintain its box office numbers, having released three films this year, all of which were mega-flops. This is the total box office total for every DC film since 2013:

DC is pinning its hopes on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's box office successDC is pinning its hopes on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's box office success
DC is pinning its hopes on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom's box office success | DC

How much have DC films made at the box office?

The DCEU started strong with Man of Steel proving both critically and commercially popular, making $667 million worldwide off a $225 million budget. This was followed by three more successes - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman - each of which made between $740 million and $880 million.

DC peaked in 2018 with Aquaman which topped the billion dollar mark, eventually bringing in $1.14 billion worldwide, but since then takings have completely collapsed. Of the eight films released since Aquaman, none had made even half as much money - the best performer, Black Adam, made $390 million, but given its $260 million budget it was still considered a flop.

The Flash is DC's biggest box office flop so far, losing more than $30 millionThe Flash is DC's biggest box office flop so far, losing more than $30 million
The Flash is DC's biggest box office flop so far, losing more than $30 million | Warner Bros

The worst performers of the DCEU, when factoring in their budgets, are  Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which made just $134 million against a $125 million budget, and The Flash which is believed to have lost money, making $266.5 million off an estimated $300 million budget. There was never much hope for the latest DC film, Blue Beetle, which had a smaller budget of $104 million, but it still managed to underperform, raking back a paltry $128 million.

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How much could Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom make at the box office?

Given that the first Aquaman film retains the DCEU box office record, there are high hopes for the sequel. However, given the furore over Amber Heard’s involvement in the film following her defamation brought by her ex-husband Johnny Depp, in which she was found to have defamed him and ordered to pay $10 million in damages, it’s possible that even this film won’t excel in cinemas.

With a budget of $215 million, the film needs to surpass $400 million worldwide to begin to turn a real profit, taking into account promotional costs. If it manages to do this much it will become the highest-grossing DCEU film since Aquaman, and the seventh highest-grossing overall.

With superhero fatigue setting in for audiences after the slew of Marvel and DC releases over the last 15 years, it’s unlikely that The Lost Kingdom will approach the takings of the first instalment, and DC would probably consider itself lucky if it made even half as much, around $570 million. 

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