All eyes were on one film this weekend and it wasn’t Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Warner Brothers released the much hyped, much anticipated DC’s Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in a wide release 2D/3D format showing in over 4,100 screens. The Patty Jenkins directed superhero feature showed early tracking of around $65 million domestically for an opening weekend, but as predicted here last weekend, the critical praise along with the high cinematic score has pushed this film way past that mark to numbers comparable to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 a month ago.
Interesting numbers to look at is the tipping of scales gender wise as audiences saw an increase in female attendance which typically skews heavy male for superhero genre’s. This I’m sure has studio’s excited at the prospect of more female led properties since women make up a majority of the population. A total of 39% said they were watching the movie because of the franchise; 53% were there for the superhero genre; and an extremely impressive 31% attended due to Gadot.
Thursday night screenings for Wonder Woman brought in $11.2 million alone for a 4 day weekend total of just over $114 million, an astounding number for this movie and one that will surely have a ripple effect in the industry. It is officially the highest opening total for a female directed feature beating out 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey easily which was directed by Sam-Taylor Johnson and opened to $85 million.
The weekend’s other new wide release, Captain Underpants, brought in around $24 million for the weekend and performed as expected as the Fox animated film didn’t seem to get affected too much by the Wonder Woman phenomenon. While a smaller opening than a DreamWorks Studio film is used to, it scored well and with a smaller than normal budget, it could break even before Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3 hit theatres a couple of weeks from now. Still, a second place finish nothing to scoff at this time of year.
What were affected however was last weekend’s new releases, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and Baywatch which each saw big drops in only their second weekend. Pirates alone took a 65.7% hit which was higher than expected, and should finish this weekend with around $21 million bringing the Johnny Depp led franchise to a domestic total of around $115 million. As for Baywatch, it dropped 55% in it’s second weekend managing only $8.5 million for the 3 days for a domestic total of around $42 million.
The other top 5 film, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is creeping along with a $9.7 million weekend and now stands at over $800 million worldwide, $350 million of that in North America. That domestic number is the second highest this year but stands zero chance of catching Beauty and the Beast which has accumulated a very impressive $501 million total. It is the fifth highest worldwide grossing film however in the MCU, so it’s in good company.
As for next weekend, the big wide releases are The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and the horror film It Comes at Night starring Joel Edgerton. These two films should manage top 5 positions but exactly where is anybody’s guess. There’s good buzz (currently 100% on Rotten Tomatoes) about It Comes at Night which should manage a $15 – $20 million opening but all eyes are on The Mummy and whether it can knock Wonder Woman from the number one spot. Either way, Wonder Woman is guaranteed a top 1 or 2 position, it’s just a matter of how far the drop is, but with very positive reviews and a very strong cinema score, it shouldn’t drop more than 47 – 50 percent. Time will tell if the Tom Cruise name and a familiar brand name like The Mummy can still translate into big returns.
Update: Studio numbers were adjusted and Wonder Woman’s 3-day weekend total was $103.2 million.