Wonder Woman Bounces Box Office Back Into High Gear
By John Hamann
June 4, 2017
The best film to compare Wonder Woman to is Guardians of the Galaxy, as that Marvel release earned $11.2 million from previews, but keep in mind that one was released on a school's out August weekend, when the junior set is going to be more likely to show up for a later screening. Guardians had a preview plus opening day of $37.8 million, a number that Wonder Woman was destined to beat.
Wonder Woman's opening day was reported at $38.9 million on Saturday morning, eclipsing Guardians by a million and coming in just short of Spider-Man's $39.4 million and just ahead of Iron Man's Thursday/Friday of $38.7 million. While not reaching the ridiculous heights of Batman v Superman's $81.6 million or Suicide Squad's $64.9 million, it was in the same ballpark as some of the films that made the Marvel Cinematic Universe what it is today.
The question now was whether Wonder Woman could hit $100 million before Sunday at midnight. Reviews supported a strong internal multiplier, as the WB release hit 93% at RottenTomatoes, blowing away the recent DC Comics releases, and again showing up more like a Marvel/Disney film. The Cinemascore was an A, which again could push that internal weekend multiplier higher. Wonder Woman was a stretch to hit $100 million over opening weekend, but it wasn't completely outside of reality - it was going to be close.
The estimate released this morning has Wonder Woman enjoying a huge opening weekend at $100.5 million. This is a spectacular result for the Patty Jenkins film, outpacing expectations on its way to its big win. In my opinion, Wonder Woman will bring back more viewers to the DC Comics universe and likely save the brand, as the partners could not continue to kick out films like Batman v Superman (27% fresh, B Cinemascore) and Suicide Squad (25% fresh, B+ Cinemascore). In today's movie business, critics are marketers – giving their opinion and a plot summary for those not sure of what they're heading into. Would Wonder Woman open to $100.5 million if it had sucked? The mountain of evidence is hard to ignore, as the internet has made much of the moviegoing audience that is more aware of where they are spending their money. However, we have seen Batman v Superman excel over opening weekend despite the drubbing, but its domestic legs were horrible. One has to wonder what would happen if Batman v Superman 2 was released today.
Overseas, I would say that Wonder Woman is a little bit less a juggernaut overseas than it was domestically, but the overseas number reported sits at a solid $122.5 million. This means that if Wonder Woman can earn $300 million domestically and $450 million overseas, it will be one of the most profitable films in the recent DC Comics canon to date. Remember. Wonder Woman cost a realistic $150 million to make, so that overseas number alone should bring the profit for DC and WB. The superhero flick has to go up against Tom Cruise in The Mummy next weekend, and the likely big hitter the following weekend is Cars 3, a film that shouldn't provide too much competition for the DC Comics release. Wonder Woman should dominate the marketplace until Transformers: Who Cares shows up on the 21st of June. Wonder Woman literally saves the day at Warner Bros., as heads would have rolled if this one turned into a turkey. The question now is how big of a bird it can be over the next four weekends, before we get Spider-Man: Homecoming.