Aquaman 2 Earns Top 5 Spot for Most Expensive DC Movie Ever

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Poster with money flying

According to a new report, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has become one of the most expensive DC Comics films to date.

The superhero genre is full of extremely expensive outings, especially considering the effects, cast, and scale of movies in the current era. For example, Avengers: Endgame cost roughly $356 million to make—and that’s almost certainly not the whole picture due to other indirect costs not being taken into account.

Oddly enough, reports have pegged the most expensive movie of all time to be 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, costing a massive $430 million after adjusting for inflation.

But how does everything rank on the DCU side? Well, Margot Robbie’s Birds of Prey is currently the cheapest out, sitting at only $80 million - quite a small total considering most movies in this genre tally a nine-figure price tag.

As for the most expensive projects, Momoa has now been able to add his aquatic hero to the top five.

How Much is Aquaman 2's Budget?

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

A new report from Variety revealed that before James Gunn and Peter Safran took over the DCU, the previous co-lead, Pam Abdy, had to tell director James Wan to reduce his reshoot budget for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

The outlet also pointed out that the movie could be in for even more pricey reshoots if any additional changes are needed to line up with the new DCU.

As it stands, The Lost Kingdom has earned itself a spot on the list of most expensive DC films to date.

The top five most expensive DC Comic movies are as follows:

1. Justice League: $300 million
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: $263 million
3. The Dark Knight Rises: $230 million
4. Man of Steel: $225 million
5. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: $205 million

Before Aquaman grabbed the fifth spot, Superman Returns had it with a budget of $204 million.

It’s Expensive to Reboot the DCU

Despite Warner Bros.’ (WB) hesitancy to spend even more money on some of these films, it’s likely to become a necessity.

Whispers indicate that Gunn and Safran will be initiating a lot of changes, and the studio wants their releases next year to remain relevant, they’ll have to adjust each film to line up with their new vision.

As for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, to see it cost so much is surprising. It’s a shame that the budget wasn’t used to cut Amber Heard from the sequel—like many thought they were going to.

This next year for the DCU will be extremely interesting. There’s lots of intrigue regarding how the new leads of this Cinematic Universe will deal with the old regime's projects.

It’ll likely come down to a mix of throwing money at the problems and having that ‘we’ll fix it in post’ mentality.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits theaters on December 25, 2023.

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.