Prequel of Original and Remake, Once Predicted as a Box Office Flop, Surges to $150M – Despite WB’s Self-Sabotaging Reputation


The box office landscape of 2023 has been a rollercoaster, with unexpected successes and failures. The recently released Wonka film, starring Timothée Chalamet as the titular character, has defied early predictions of failure. However, its journey to box office success faces new challenges with upcoming Warner Bros. releases.

Initially met with skepticism, Wonka has proven critics wrong, earning praise from both critics and audiences. With a $125 million budget, the film debuted at $39 million and has amassed a worldwide box office total of $151.4 million. It seemed poised to maintain its momentum, possibly securing a top spot during the holiday season. Yet, Warner Bros. has other plans that might impact Wonka’s ongoing success.

The competition arrives in the form of upcoming WB releases: The Color Purple and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The Color Purple, due to its literary significance and thematic depth, is expected to attract a specific audience. Meanwhile, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, a sequel to the DC film, is anticipated to be a major hit, despite controversies surrounding the cast.


The looming release of these films poses a potential challenge to Wonka’s box office dominance. While Wonka currently enjoys success, the arrival of these significant contenders might interrupt its momentum. The concern arises: is Wonka ruling the box office because of a lack of strong competition?

The clash between Wonka, The Color Purple, and Aquaman 2 presents a scenario where Warner Bros. could have strategically avoided this direct competition. However, the studio either underestimated the potential success of adapting the eccentric chocolatier or is excessively confident in its ability to conquer the box office amidst multiple releases.

Currently playing in theaters, Wonka faces the upcoming challenges of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, releasing on Dec. 22, 2023, followed by The Color Purple on Dec. 25.