It is undoubtedly the age of superhero films: more and more new titles are released each year, as rival studios Marvel and DC battle it out on the big screen. After this year’s box office triumph Avengers: Infinity War by Marvel, it was time for DC to regain control with Aquaman, which was filmed all over Australia.
Aquaman Filmed Across Australia
It is not rare for a film or TV series to be used as a vehicle to showcase the natural beauty of a particular country – and give tourism a boost. After the immense success of HBO’s Game of Thrones, tourists flocked to Croatia to admire King’s Landing and are touring Ireland to explore Winterfell. Unwittingly, Aquaman serves as a great advertisement for Australia, which was chosen as its primary filming location – and according to director James Wan it was not a light-hearted decision. Most of the film takes place along Queensland’s Golden Coast, with Amnesty Bay serving as the setting for the title character’s hometown.
The lighthouse where he grew up with his father overlooks the stunning Hastings Point Cape, while some of the underwater scenes were filmed near Main Beach and Amity Point. The film’s strong connection with water plays nicely into Australia’s longstanding seafaring and sea sports tradition. One of the reasons why it is a top tourist destination is its proximity to water and everything it brings with it – but its magnificent landscape and long shores also make it ideal as a shooting setting for Hollywood blockbusters. From the Matrix trilogy to the Mad Max saga and critically-acclaimed films like Where the Wild Things Are, Australia has served as the setting for some of the most memorable big-screen moments.
An Unexpected Hit at the Box Office
Aquaman seems to have struck gold not only with its awe-inspiring background, but also with its storyline and acting, as audiences worldwide seem to love it. DC has been struggling to keep up with Marvel in the past few years, with the exception of Wonder Woman, so they really needed a hit. Many believed that Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, was not the hero to achieve that; although he is a founding member of the Justice League, he was not as popular as a comic book hero as several of his counterparts. Yet casting Jason Momoa in the lead role seems to have paid off.
Although the film had received mixed reviews from critics, it seems that audiences loved it – and it has already inspired spin-off merchandise, from Funko Pop figurines and replicas of his signature trident to the Aquaman online slot game at Buzz Bingo and a wide range of clothing items like t-shirts and hoodies. The movie, which sees Aquaman rise as the rightful heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis to fight against his evil half-brother who wants to destroy humanity, has already surpassed the $1 billion benchmark. It managed to make almost $68 million just in its opening weekend, and has grossed over $290 million in the US and over $730 million in the foreign markets.
With such an unexpected success, could it be that Aquaman is not the hero that DC deserves, but the one they so desperately need?