“Aquaman” is swimming in box office gold this week, thanks to his human friends around the world. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that the latest DC Extended Universe installment is expected to hit the $500M mark by Christmas Day, which is one of the best presents a studio could hope for this time of year. The announcement was made by Ron Sanders, President of Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

“Aquaman” has been a success story right out of the gate. The film was first released in China after a red-carpet event that featured director James Wan and stars Jason Momoa and Amber Heard. The new DCEU release had close to a $95M opening weekend, the highest-grossing opening ever for a Warner Bros. film in that market, and the film currently stands at more than $230M.

To put the film in perspective, the current worldwide totals for the DCEU are “Batman v Superman” with $873.6M; “Wonder Woman” with $821.8M; “Suicide Squad” with $746.8M; “Man of Steel” with $668M; and “Justice League” with $657.9M. Hitting $500M on a film’s opening month is an impressive task, and Aquaman came ready to battle.

After Aquaman’s terrific debut in China, the film then went on to open across four continents, from London to New York City to Manila, Australia and beyond, ending a marketing run that started with Jason Momoa hitting San Diego International Comic-Con earlier this year.

“Aquaman” was the number-one film internationally for the third consecutive weekend, the film opened this past Friday in North America, where it has an impressive weekly total of $72.7M, which includes previews.

In the 70 markets now in release, including Brazil ($17.1M), Mexico ($16.1M), Russia ($12.8M) and the UK ($12.8M), the international total to date now stands at $415.5M, with Australia set to open on December 26th, Italy on January 1st, and Japan on February 8th.

“Aquaman” is presently en route to becoming the highest grossing Warner Bros. film ever in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, among other markets.

“James Wan has created a terrific movie that is clearly connecting with audiences around the world,” said Sanders. “We look forward to ‘Aquaman’ riding this wave of success through the holiday window and well into the new year. Congratulations to the entire team behind this film.”

“Aquaman” is an origin story of half-surface dweller, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry. The story forces him to face who he really is, but also to discover if he is worthy to become King. “Aquaman” stars Jason Momoa in the title role.

The film also stars Amber Heard as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) as Vulko, counsel to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson as Orm, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the revenge-seeking Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna.

Also featured in the film are Ludi Lin as Captain Murk, an Atlantean Commando, and Temuera Morrison as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.

Wan directed from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, story by Geoff Johns & James Wan and Will Beall, based on characters created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger for DC. The film was produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, with Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada serving as executive producers.

Wan’s team behind the scenes included such frequent collaborators as Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“Forrest Gump”), Wan’s five-time editor Kirk Morri, production designer Bill Brzeski, and visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain. They were joined by costume designer Kym Barrett and composer Rupert Gregson-Williams.

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