The Flash’s Box Office Disaster Makes Aquaman 2’s Job Even More Impossible

Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for The Flash.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has a nearly impossible task when it premieres, all thanks to The Flash. Ezra Miller stars as not one but two versions of Barry Allen in what might be the actor’s finest performance as The Flash. Sadly, the movie was not as well received as DC had hoped it would be, with The Flash becoming a box office disappointment right out of the gate. At the time of writing, Box Office Mojo — which specializes in tracking box office numbers — puts The Flash‘s worldwide total at $140.9 million. That sum comes after The Flash had one of the DCEU’s worst openings, with $55 million.


The Flash had a big marketing push that tried to stay away from its star’s controversies over the past couple of years. The actor was pretty much not a part of the movie’s press circuit, with Miller’s first public appearance for The Flash coming only during the film’s premiere. The Flash‘s marketing banked on the movie’s multiverse story, pushing Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s versions of Batman, Sasha Calle’s Supergirl, and Michael Shannon’s General Zod on its trailers prior to the film’s release. Sadly, that did not work, and The Flash‘s multiple issues led to the film bombing, which raises concerns for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

The Flash Failed As A DCU “Free-Hit”, And Aquaman 2 Could Be Worse

ezra miller in the chronobowl in the flash

DC is going through some major changes, as James Gunn and Peter Safran have replaced the old DC regime and are currently working on getting their new DC Universe up and running. Gunn and Safran’s DC Universe effectively reboots the old DCEU, which is good, as DC’s past chapter was very divisive, both with fans and critics alike. However, that put the movies that were produced for the DCEU in a bind, as audiences are clearly more interested in what DC will offer in the future, starting with 2025’s Superman: Legacy. Due to that, the films Gunn and Safran inherited are underperforming.

The four movies that were yet to be released when Gunn and Safran took over were Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The first two films have now been released and bombed at the box office. While The Flash still hopes for possible box office legs lessening its damage, Shazam! Fury of the Gods — per Box Office Mojo — ended its worldwide run with a mere $133.7 million, which The Flash has already managed to exceed. Both films had the same issue of being in a DC limbo, with the DCEU done and them not being part of the new DC Universe.

Gunn confirmed that Blue Beetle is the first DC Universe character, so the next DC film in line should not have to deal with this same complicated situation. However, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will not have that luxury, as Jason Momoa’s Aquaman was part of the Justice League. Though, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom can bank on the film being more separated from the DCEU than The Flash — even though ties to the past exist — which also helped the original Aquaman gross over a billion. However, with no DCU future guaranteed, the film could fail to attract audience interest.

The Flash Post-Credits Scene Made Aquaman 2’s Problems Harder

Custom image of Jason Momoa's Aquaman in his iconic golden costume and Ezra Miller in The Flash looking surprised.

The Flash‘s post-credits scene had Momoa’s Arthur Curry learn from Miller’s Barry Allen about the character’s multiversal travels during the film. While audiences might have had some fun with the moment, it was ultimately pointless. Not only will it lead nowhere, but the scene also paints Momoa’s Aquaman in a weird light, with the character being played up as a drunken fool in what could be one of his final two appearances. While the scene itself was not flattering to Momoa’s Aquaman, just his presence in the film was damaging enough for the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

The Flash ended with Barry changing the timeline to a new one where Affleck’s Batman was replaced, shockingly, by George Clooney’s Bruce Wayne from 1997’s Batman & Robin. As Gunn has confirmed that Clooney isn’t the DC Universe’s Batman, The Flash‘s ending teases that Momoa’s Aquaman is not going to be part of Gunn’s DC Universe either. Given how badly The Flash has underperformed, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom would need to distance itself from the film as much as it can to be able to succeed at the box office. However, the post-credits scene for The Flash makes the already difficult job that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom faces even more impossible.

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