Wonka’s Surprisingly Sweet Box Office Helped Cure Warner’s Aquaman Blues


Image: Warner Bros.

We snickered at the concept when we first heard about Wonka, and we scratched our heads once we saw the trailers—especially the parts revealing Hugh Grant’s Ooompa-Loompa character. But one should never doubt the power of chocolate… or a singing, dancing, Timothée Chalamet, because Wonka is a hit.

Directed by Paddington and Paddington 2‘s Paul King, Wonka—released in theaters December 15—has already crossed the $100 million mark in the U.S. Variety reports the film’s global haul has topped $270 million, which is great news for Warner Bros., a studio that has another big film anchored by Chalamet coming in March. But while Dune: Part Two is expected to do well, considering the success of its predecessor, Wonka’s triumph is a bit more surprising.

Maybe it shouldn’t be, given the timing and the current box-office landscape: Wonka is a family-friendly musical that fills in the backstory of the beloved Roald Dahl character, so it holds great appeal for people looking for something to take their kids to over the winter holidays. Another Warner Bros. musical in current release, The Color Purple, is also doing well; the Christmas Day release has already made nearly $30 million domestically. However, the news is not so rosy for a third Warner Bros. release: James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is closing out the current chapter of the DC Extended Universe with a bit of a whimper. It’s pulled in just over $50 million (a fraction of its $200 million-plus budget) since its December 22 release. Maybe WB should have made it a musical, too?


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