According to early box office returns, “Aquaman 2” is sinking fast — let’s hope the woke movie movement is going down with it.
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is on track for a four-day opening weekend take of between $38 million and $40 million, according to Deadline, the online entertainment news magazine.
That might sound like a lot to Americans gathering for Christmas celebrations, but it’s nothing for Warner Bros. and the DC Extended Universe to be happy about.
According to Variety, the movie had a production budget of $215 million. In Hollywood bookkeeping, that means it needs to bring in $400 million to make its money back, according to the entertainment website Screen Rant. But not even star Jason Mamoa (who got $15 million of that $215 million, according to Screen Rant), could save this one.
“Already, the sequel’s previews are less than that of Disney/Marvel Studios’ dud The Marvels which did $6.6M before a 3-day of $46.1M, the lowest start ever for a Marvel movie,” Deadline reported.
So, that $400 million doesn’t appear to be in the cards in a tepid opening weekend after a rash of lukewarm — at best — reviews. (“‘The Lost Kingdom’ isn’t well done, but it isn’t miserable either,” wrote the New York Post reviewer Johnny Oleksinski, in what should be a textbook example of damning with faint praise.)
It’s the latest in a string of Hollywood movies that have gone — as the saying goes — from woke to broke.
Disney’s all-female led “The Marvels” in November was the most recent example (the director, a black woman, blamed racism and sexism, naturally).
But the ranks of the truly rank movies are swollen at 2023 nears an end.
Before that, there was Disney — through its Pixar subsidiary — checking in again with the ham-handed and ill-fated “The Elementals” in June. (It should have been called “The Inclusions.”)
And then there was the gay superhero in DC’s “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” in March, where the main character’s foster brother is homosexual.
One of these days, the brains who are supposed to be behind Hollywood blockbusters should maybe ask themselves what might be going wrong.
To get an idea, just look at the plot of the latest apparent flop — “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”
As the movie review site Slash Film noted (with obnoxious, inane approval), “Aquaman 2” addresses a “Serious, Real World Problem.”
The “problem” being addressed is “climate change,” depicted in the film as related to the machinations of the movie’s villain the Black Manta (hard to believe that adjective made it through the diversity gang) who gets hold of the terrible Black Trident, which gives him the power to change the world’s temperatures.
Does anyone think moviegoers are clamoring to pay out big bucks to get preached to about climate change?
Does anyone outside the Oscar-ignoramus circle think regular Americans are just dying to hear how Hollywood thinks the world needs to be saved from regular Americans just trying to live their lives?
But treating audiences like misbehaving children is another thing entirely.
Tendentious plots that push progressive agendas might make for great buzz from the kind of liberals who soak up the Beverly Hills sun, but in the real world, where theatergoers look for entertainment, the prospect of being beaten over the head with yet another leftist message (or the charms of a gay teenager in a “Strange World” or lesbian lifestyles).
By all indications, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is drowning at the box office.
At some point, Hollywood might learn to keep the work ideas from surfacing in the first place.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.