Why Has Aquaman Succeeded Where Justice League Failed?

Aquaman has been incredibly successful since its release. While many analysts and critics were skeptical of its chances at success, the film has done incredible business, being the repeat number one at the box office for 3-4 weeks. The film is now DC’s most successful film overseas and has the potential to be a billion dollar films (sits at around 800 million currently). What qualities or circumstances have helped make Aquaman so successful, compared to the lackluster Justice League (which was both critically and commercially disappointing for many fans and critics).

  • It is probably one of those instances when people are more interested in an origin tale than an ensemble of superheroes with no background. – AthenDawn 5 years ago
  • Aquaman as a sole hero versus a group of them (Justice League) might matter regarding success. This may be related to the the way a story develops on the screen--it may be easier and more enjoyable to follow one rather than too many heroes. – Joseph Cernik 5 years ago
  • This is just my own observation of the two films. Prior to Aquaman, I would always say that I would choose to watch Justice League over Batman v Superman. BvS was a film that took itself too seriously and lost its comic-book quality. And also, (unless you watch the extended edition) character motivations are questionable. Justice League had a very problematic plot and its special effects were absolutely awful-- but it was able to have fun. That scene when Flash tries running behind a newly revived Superman? EPIC. But it was also a film that could not decide between being serious or comedic and shifts in tone were jarring to say the least. This could also be because of the sudden shift in directors, Snyder to Whedon. Aquaman seems to have a good balance-- the only faults that I saw it have was that it was too long and the inclusion of the Black Manta plotline was not necessary since the more obvious concern was Oceanmaster v Aquaman. Also the special effects are beautiful. Wonder Woman still reigns as the best DCEU movie for me, but I would probably place Aquaman as second or third. – FabiAlejandra 5 years ago
  • I think the star power and marketing had a huge effect. Jason Mamoa has the looks, and even better, he's charismatic, so people will want to watch him. The movie was also marketed as being more silly and not taking itself as seriously as the other DCEU movies. I haven't seen it so I don't know how valid that is within the movie's context. I'm personally a little surprised by Aquaman's success just due to him being a joke in pop culture and most people disregarding him as an actual, or at least useful, superhero. However, considering the success of modern blockbusters, especially with the MCU and DCEU (financially anyway), I'm not surprised general audiences gravitate towards a movie that features a CGI fest of people riding sharks and fighting a war underwater. It's a perfect film for popcorn spectacle and escapism. China apparently also had a lot to do with the movie's box office success. – ImperatorSage 5 years ago

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