Warner Brothers was smarting after the expensive flop that was Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’, which they had hoped would launch a shared universe of movies based on the denizens of Camelot. But things are looking up for its other shared universe, the DC Expanded Universe. ‘Man of Steel’ did okay, and ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ made loads of money, but also cost a ton to make. And… well no one liked it. ‘Suicide Squad’ didn’t make quite as much but was somewhat better received. But things were looking a little bleak, considering that Warner Brothers had already announced a full slate of DC movies through 2020.
Then like a gift from the gods, ‘Wonder Woman’ arrived last weekend and just demolished everyone’s expectations. The film grossed $103.1 million domestically in its opening weekend and both fans and critics sang the film’s praises. (93% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, A CinemaScore) Now the film, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine has accomplished a new feat– it has made over $300M worldwide in just over a week!
‘Wonder Woman’ already marked the highest opening weekend for a film directed by a female director and it could eventually become the highest-grossing movie ever by a woman. It has to overcome ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ (directed by Elizabeth Banks, $288M global), ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ (Jennifer Yuh Nelson, $665M), ‘Mama Mia!’ (Phyllida Lloyd, $609M), ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (Sam Taylor-Johnson, $571M) and ‘Twilight’ (Catherine Hardwick, $391M). But… I did mention that ‘Wonder Woman’ has only been out for a week, right? (Also, these numbers have not been adjusted for inflation.)
‘Wonder Woman’ is expected to spend a second weekend at #1 as buzz and reviews for ‘The Mummy’ are LOUSY! (18% on Rotten Tomatoes) The one thing working against the film is that generally, it’s just the weekend numbers that count. Fueled by the excellent reception it’s received, ‘Wonder Woman’ posted especially strong numbers on Monday and Tuesday, days that are not typically huge at the box office. (Both days generated more than last week’s Thursday preview showings.)
‘Wonder Woman’ just slipped past M. Night Shayamalan’s sleeper hit ‘Split’. It is expected to surpass ‘Logan’ ($226M), but not ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ or ‘Beauty and the Beast’. ‘Wonder Woman’ should wind up as one of the Top Five movies of the year, bar an upset from ‘Despicable Me 3’, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ or ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. Then, of course, there is ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ this winter, which should do phenomenally.
For the time being, though ‘Wonder Woman’ is reigning supreme and the coming weeks will determine just how well.
Have you seen ‘Wonder Woman’ yet? (If not, what are you waiting for?)