'Aquaman' opens big in China, and Warner Bros. is already planning a sequel

Jason Momoa is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, one more bit of high-profile publicity for Aquaman. The Warner Bros./DC superhero flick he’s starring has already opened big in China, and it will screen for select US audiences next week with a wide release in the US later this month.

The film, in which Momoa plays the titular hero, is an origin story about the half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry who goes on a journey to discover who he is and learns that he was born to be a king of the seas. It debuted in China today and grossed the equivalent of about $24.6 million, and while DC films don’t really have the same cachet as entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. and DC are nevertheless hoping for an opening weekend of more than $80 million for Aquaman, a strong early showing.

The haul today reportedly represents the biggest opening day ever for a Warner Bros. title.

Early reviews have been positive, and it looks like the estimated $200 million budget Warner Bros. dedicated to the film has paid off. In fact, talk about a sequel already seems to have begun. That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, which reports that the film is on track for a $65 million opening at the North American box office. Sequel talks also have begun, though it’s still early in the process and a writer has not yet been tapped.

Speaking of the North American box office opening, the movie is set to hit theaters domestically on December 21 in 3D, 2D and IMAX. In a novel arrangement, however, members of Amazon’s Prime subscription service are going to have an opportunity to screen the film a week early in a series of exclusive showings.

As we reported in recent weeks, Amazon Prime members will be able to buy tickets (up to a total of 10) for a showing at participating theaters on December 15. More than 1,000 theaters around the country are taking part, including theaters from AMC, Regal, National Amusement Theaters and ArcLight Cinemas. (Go here for more details on the showings.)

Meanwhile, this clip below from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert shows off one of hopefully many epic fight scenes involving our trident-wielding hero that await us in the movie. The action picks up around the 13 second mark.