Aquaman will be in theaters a week earlier for Amazon Prime members: why?

In a weird first that I’m still trying to figure out, Amazon Prime is offering members a chance to see Aquaman a week before its official release date. (It’s available at People still have to buy tickets at regular prices from what I could find and they still have to go to the actual theater to see it. This isn’t a deal where people can watch Aquaman from home, which would seem like a better option. Someone is trying to sell exclusivity to this and simultaneously drum up interest. Normally superhero movies sell themselves, but initial response to test screenings earlier this year was muted. So this is some kind of invite-only deal that doesn’t seem like much of an incentive to see it.

If you’re a member of Amazon Prime… you’ll be able to see James Wan’s upcoming Aquaman in theaters a week before anyone else. Warner Bros. has officially announced a partnership with the service for early showings on December 15, a full week ahead of its release date. Members can each buy up to 10 tickets that will be good in over 1,000 theaters nationwide, including AMC, Regal, National Amusement Theaters and ArcLight Cinemas.

“Bringing this epic origin story and the wondrous underwater world to the screen has been an amazing experience for the whole cast and crew, and I’m so excited for Prime members to be our first audience for Aquaman,” Wan said about the promotional event. /blockquote> [From]

At least this indicates that Warner Brothers isn’t attempting to embargo the Rotten Tomatoes score ahead of the release, like they did with Justice League. They still could do that, this just seems like a different approach – make the movie seem exclusive and simultaneously drum up interest in Amazon Prime. Also, I’m not the target audience for this as I already have Amazon Prime and probably won’t even rent this, but maybe Amazon wants more young people to subscribe to Prime. I think they picked the wrong movie, but I’m more of a Marvel fan and haven’t even seen Justice League yet. Even the most poorly reviewed WB superhero movies do well at the box office.

Here’s the latest trailer. It looks like a derivative mess.



photos credit: Warner Brothers. There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon products!

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38 Responses to “Aquaman will be in theaters a week earlier for Amazon Prime members: why?”

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  1. Millenial says:

    How about instead of this, Amazon Prime just worked on actually shipping things in the two days they say they will.

    • IlsaLund says:

      Amazon Prime has very slowly and sneakily changed their shipping policy from the guaranteed two day shipping on many of its items. Several of my recent orders had delivery dates of 4 or more days. Amazon may go back to guaranteed 2 day delivery on all items since the holiday shopping season is beginning.

      • Chaine says:

        They are using incompetent delivery contractors, too, that fail to deliver items for days and then do dumb things like throw a package on the street next to the mailbox rather than bring it to the door.

      • Millenial says:

        Same here. I would say 2/3 of my items still come in two days, but the other 1/3 is more like 3-4. Which is fine, honestly, but it kind of loses it’s competitive edge over other businesses like Target, etc… that also tend to offer free standard shipping. If I can get something I like better from a different online store, and the most I have to wait is an extra day or two, I don’t mind. Plus I feel better spreading my dollars around different businesses.

  2. grabbyhands says:

    Obviously no one knows for sure how it will ultimately do, but to me it sounds like the studio is already nervous about the box office and is doing everything they can to avoid another clunker. They’re right to be gun shy.

    Maybe if they concentrated more on their scripts and less on trying to copy Marvel, they’d have more reliable results. It worked on Wonder Woman. Marvel didn’t become a powerhouse overnight either, but they did invest in their writers and directors and seems to have had a big picture in mind from fairly early on and DC keeps dropping the ball on these points.

    • Felicia says:

      Yes, this seems to me to be a way to fudge the opening numbers because I’m sure those ticket sales will be counted for either the 1st or 2nd day’s sales. Or if need be, the first Friday and Saturday of the second weekend if there is a huge % drop…

    • Miles says:

      To be honest the buzz for the film seems very muted. The first trailer generated a large amount of buzz but every trailer released since then has decreased in buzz/views by a substantial amount. The trailer released yesterday announcing tickets are for sale is currently at half the views of Once Upon a Deadpool (also released yesterday) and that’s just a re-release of the same Marvel movie from earlier but in PG-13.

      I have heard good things about Aquaman though so maybe even if the OW isn’t that good, it’ll have strong legs over the holidays. Oddly enough its biggest competition will be Mary Poppins which has garnered a ton of Oscar buzz heading into its release so I’m sure that’s going to be the number one pick for families over the holidays.

    • Veronica S. says:

      It has some major competition to deal with, and outside of Wonder Woman, DC is already dealing with a less than stellar reputation. The trailers look fun but not particularly promising in terms of the over all quality.

    • BorderMollie says:

      The trailer looked awful, corny as heck and terribly acted (ugh that redheads line). imo Wonder Woman was saved by the script, because the acting in it was terribly cringe inducing. This one doesn’t sound like it has even that. One to wait for on Netflix!

      • Xi Tang says:

        I totally agree about the acting but also don’t think the movie as a whole was good. I found myself bored throughout big chunks of the movie.
        As for Aquaman, I really hope it’s good. He’s one of my favourite DC heroes and I wish WB. won’t butcher it.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    I have absolutely no interest in seeing this despite its interesting cast. DC has really lost me.

  4. Chaine says:

    I saw the trailer in the theater the other night and the movie just looks so silly and over the top ridiculous and Amber Heard was incredibly wooden even in just the glimpse of her role in the trailer. Can’t imagine anyone over elementary school age wanting to see it unless they’re just a massssive massive Jason Momoa fan.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I actually think the ridiculousness of it is probably one of the best aspects, to be honest. Aquaman is sort of a silly concept to begin with, so why not have fun with it? It’s at least a good break from the rest of the GRIMDARK!!! feeling of the other DC films in that regard.

  5. Darla says:

    I like DC. I guess I’m one of the few who really enjoyed Justice League, which Aquaman and The Flash were the best part of IMO. I will see this the first week it’s out. Haters to the left! LOL

  6. Jerusha says:

    I have Amazon Prime and you couldn’t pay me to see this. Something about Jason Momoa makes my skin crawl.

  7. Dids says:

    Jason Momoa is so hot! I wish i wanted to see this movie….

    • Myrtle says:

      I’m seeing it for him and him alone. As for the rest: Oy. Kidman, Dafoe and Amber Heard’s performances are already terrible, even just in the trailers! Too bad. The roles Jason Momoa can play are somewhat limited, due to his size, but he’s a fantastic actor, seems like an awesome person and, of course, is beautiful beyond words.

      Amazon Slime, whatever. I can wait till Dec. 21st—been on my calendar for months!

  8. Beth says:

    I have Amazon Prime and love superhero movies, but I have zero interest in seeing this dumb looking movie. I prefer Marvel over DC, but that’s not it, even if it was Marvel, I’d still skip it. This movie doesn’t look like it’s going to be a big hit, and I don’t understand why so many think Jason Momoa is so gorgeous and wonderful

    • Darla says:

      Well, to each their own. For years I wondered why so many thought Brad Pitt was so gorgeous and wonderful.

    • Dids says:

      I love nerds. (My Hollywood boyfriend is James McAvoy! Somedays it is Eddie Redmayne… ) But there is something about Jason Momoa that brings out my inner cavewoman….Its the voice, the eyes and THE ARMS. When i see him I wanna scream : PROTECT MEEEEE!!! LOVE MEEEEEE!!!! LOOK AT MEEEEE!!! Its all very weird. But I decided to embrace it instead of fighting it.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I honestly thought the movie came and went. When I saw the ad, I was surprised.

  10. Esmom says:

    I feel like Amazon is becoming more gimmicky as of late. I recently began accumulating Whole Foods $5 online coupons/credits by choosing slow shipping instead of two-day shipping. But so far I haven’t been able to redeem them at the store. No one seems to know how it works. Grr.

    No interest in this “exclusive” preview.

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    I FINALLY watched “Justice League” this past Saturday….

    Jason Momoa himself would have to accompany me and mines to the theater…along WITH Lisa…including dinner afterwards…in order to get me to see this in the theater….

  12. Jane says:

    It has a lot of competition. I expect this is a way to avoid potential embarrassment. If it does poorly on opening weekend, the studio will point out that it’s opening weekend wasn’t a real opening weekend because it’s already been released for a week (whether that’s actually significant or not).

    It looks really bad. I’d thought the visuals at least looked good when I saw the trailer on my laptop, but on the big screen it just looked fake and cheap. The script seems cliched and corny, and man, Momoa and Heard cannot act for the life of them. Heard especially. Momoa has a bit of personality at least but Heard is just a plank of wood.

    I do think it might actually get half-decent reviews, because after Justice League the bar for the DCEU is broken in shards on the ground.

    • paula says:

      Momoa and Heard cannot act for the life of them. Heard especially. Momoa has a bit of personality at least but Heard is just a plank of wood

      this is pretty much the same reason why aquaman is going to flop both jason and amber are good looking people but they are terrible actors, jason got the role for being attractive and amber well…. she was still married with depp when she got the role

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    It’s definitely gimmicky and definitely to boost opening numbers. They’re trying lol.

  14. KBeth says:

    Momoa is sexy as hell & I will usually watch him in anything….I still have zero interest in seeing this movie.

    Also, on the subject of Amazon I agree with the posters who noted that their service is slipping. They also treat their employees like crap.

  15. tealily says:

    Eh, I might watch it ON Amazon Prime, but I’m not going to see this in the theater for full price.

  16. SJhere says:

    It takes a decent Keanu Reeves movie to get me outta my house and to go to the actual movie theater. John Wick 1 and JW2 boy, I love me some fighting/running Keanu!
    I also bought both JW DVDs.

    I will be taking my child and her friends to whatever movies they ask to see because it’s a social thing with those youngsters.

    Jason Moma is good looking but I’m not heading out to the movies to sit thru Aquaman, nope.
    I’ve got several streaming apps including Prime, Netflix, etc. and I can easily wait for any comic book based flick to turn up on streaming. It seems lots of big budget movies hit Prime and Netflix within 6-8 months anyhow.

    Looking for a hot guy and beautiful scenery with an OK plot?
    Outlaw King on Netflix is pretty good. Chris Pine brings the good looking, and zero Mel Gibson (Braveheart), also half the run time of Braveheart. 🙂