Box Office Guru

Box Office: Wonder Woman Muscles $100m Opening Weekend

by | June 4, 2017 | Comments

Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment enjoyed a thunderous opening for its new super hero epic Wonder Woman which captured the number one spot with an estimated $100.5M grossing more than all other films in the marketplace combined. The PG-13 pic averaged a stellar $24,131 from 4,165 theaters and delivered the third biggest opening weekend of 2017 after Beauty and the Beast‘s $174.8M and the $146.5M of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Super hero origin story films usually do not reach this height at the box office. Last November’s Doctor Strange bowed to $85.1M while the first Captain America and Thor movies debuted to just over $65M each in 2011. Based on a character that is more of a household name, Wonder Woman had broader appeal and also excited female audiences more than most films of this genre have. In fact, studio data showed that women were the dominant group making up 52% of the crowd. Normally a comic book movie would skew around 60% male. Diana’s performance was more like 2008’s Iron Man (also a well-reviewed origin story for a well-known comic brand) which banked $102.1M in its first weekend including pre-shows.

Anticipation for this film kicked off last year with Gal Gadot’s debut of the role in Batman v Superman. Many said Wonder Woman was the best part of that super hero smackdown. The Warner Bros. marketing push was terrific and exceptional reviews from critics boosted consumer interest. Ticket buyers have been very pleased with what they got with the CinemaScore grade being a solid A. The Patty Jenkins film also posted the biggest debut of all-time for a female-directed movie.

The sturdy opening weekend kicked off with a $38.8M Friday including $11M from Thursday night pre-shows beginning at 7pm. Saturday slipped a reasonable 8% to $35.8M. GOTG2 had the same Saturday slide. Sunday is projected by the studio to decline by 28% to about $25.9M. $9M of the weekend take came from the 343 IMAX screens and there was more from other premium formats including the 4DX experience.

With strong word-of-mouth spreading, ample kid appeal, and schools closing for summer vacation throughout the June weeks ahead, good legs should be in store. A domestic final in the $275-300M range is possible.

Wonder Woman also took off overseas with an international debut of $122.5M resulting in a hefty global opening weekend of $223M. China led international markets with a 3-day start of $38M while Korea, Mexico, and Brazil followed with $8-9M a piece. France, Germany and Spain open later this month while Japan gets the comic hit in August. Breaking $700M worldwide seems likely and reaching $800M is a possibility as well for the tentpole which reportedly cost about $150M to produce.

The DreamWorks Animation comedy Captain Underpants debuted in second place with an estimated $23.5M from 3,434 locations for a $6,843 average. Across 22 films over the past decade, the only one from the toon studio to open lower was Turbo‘s $21.3M in 2013. However, Underpants was produced at a significantly lower cost so it aims to follow an easier road to profitability when all revenue streams are counted. Featuring the voices of Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, the PG-rated film drew an audience that was 54% male and 65% under 25. Reviews were good for Fox and the CinemaScore grade was a B+.

Audiences abandoned Johnny Depp’s ship as his latest tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men tell No Tales plunged 66% in its second weekend of play to an estimated $21.6M for third place. Disney has banked $114.6M which is 25% behind the pace of the last film in the franchise, 2011’s On Stranger Tides. A $150M domestic final may result which would be the worst for the five-film series. But overseas is where it’s at for this property. International markets grossed another $73.8M this weekend for a new offshore cume of $386.6M for a global tally of $501.2M. China, where Pirates had its star-studded world premiere, is the top-grossing territory globally with $142.6M.

The Mouse House also landed in fourth with the well-liked Marvel super hero sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which took in an estimated $9.7M, sliding 53%. New totals are $355.5M domestic (number 38 all-time) and $816.6M worldwide.

Posting a sophomore decline of 54% was the action-comedy Baywatch which collected an estimated $8.5M for a cume of $41.7M for Paramount. Fox’s sci-fi sequel Alien: Covenant fell 62% to an estimated $4M giving the space horror saga $67.2M to date with the global tally now at $173.8M.

The teen romance Everything, Everything posted the best hold in the top ten – with the only dip below 50% – with a 45% decline to an estimated $3.3M for $28.3M overall for Warner Bros. The comedy Snatched took in an estimated $1.3M, down 66%, leaving Fox at $43.9M.

Tumbling 73% due to the new options for kids this weekend was Diary of a Wimpy Kid with an estimated $1.2M. Fox’s sum is just $17.8M. King Arthur dropped 65% to an estimated $1.2M leading to a weak new total of $37.2M for Warner Bros.

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