A new rumor claims that Warner Bros. Discovery is not marketing Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom because the company knows the movie is bad and believes it will lose them money.
This rumor comes from scooper KC Walsh on X who responded to a question about why an Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom trailer has not been released yet despite the film set to arrive in theaters on December 20, 2023.
Walsh wrote, “Because they know it’s bad, they know it’ll lose money, and they aren’t putting a marketing budget behind it at all.”
This latest rumor comes after a report from The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit claimed that the film underwent its third set of reshoots since it finished principal photography in January 2022.
The previous two reshoots took place between the summer of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 and were done due to the film receiving “uninspiring test screenings.”
Kit detailed an insider informed him that this third set of reshoots was being undertaken due to “the issue story clarity.”
The idea that the test screenings for the film were uninspiring was previously reported by scoopers ViewerAnon, BigScreenLeaks, and Jeff Sneider back in February.
ViewerAnon claimed, “I’ll be honest, we’re half a dozen test screening in and it’s not looking great. I’ve consistently heard over the last half ear or so that it’s boring, not as good as the first, and potentially one of the worst DCEU movies.”
BigScreenLeaks would then seemingly corroborate this claims writing, “here’s a reason I’ve been avoiding any questions about AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM but since ViewerAnon put it out there, It brings me no joy to back him up and tell you that test screenings for this film have not been good.”
“Really hoping Wan fixes his movie before December,” the scooper added.
The scooper added in a follow-up tweet, “I heard that something that almost never happened in test screenings happened with this movie. They’re really going to need to fix this one and fix it fast.”
Sneider then commented, “I hear it’s terrible and that’s why Momoa is gonna be Lobo going forward. But they can’t say that yet because then it would be a lame duck… and DC is hoping to wring another billion out of the box office. First one was awful too, so not a huge surprise.”
As for the problem of story clarity, James Wan seemed to confirm it in a previous interview with The Hollywood Reporter where he revealed he “had to make adjustments all along the way” in order to adapt to the various visions for DC with the constant changing of leadership.
Wan added, “The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what’s going on.”
While he admitted he was seemingly constantly making changes to the movie because of the changes in direction at Warner Bros., he also claimed that the Aquaman movies were detached from the DCEU so those changes weren’t really that big of a problem.
Wan explained, “Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We’re going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what’s happening with the other movies and characters, so we’re stand-alone in that respect.”
“So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what’s been happening,” he concluded.
Interestingly, the first Aquaman film is the highest grossing DCEU film to date at the global box office with a $1.1 billion haul. It also has the second highest grossing domestic box office haul with $335 million without factoring in inflation. If you factor in inflation, the film falls to the fourth highest grossing film behind Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad.
However, recent DC installments have bombed at the box office. The two worst performing films are Blue Beetle and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Blue Beetle has only grossed $105.8 million globally. Shazam! Fury of the Gods only brought in $132.1 million. The Flash also bombed, but it did manage to bring in $267.9 million globally.
It would not be a surprise to see Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom continue on the trajectory that recent DC films have followed. That being downward. Six feet under.
What do you make of this latest rumor concerning Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?