Wonder Woman

Weekend Box Office: Wonderful!

All eyes were on this weekend for several reasons tied to one movie in particular. The big questions were: Could the latest standalone entry to DC comics’ cinematic series actually be good? Could it rev up moviegoers ahead of this fall’s release of ‘Justice League’? Could it become a financial success? Could the female-directed, female-led picture do what no other had done before? With a record-breaking opening, the answer to each question was a resounding “Yes.”

Opening to $100.5 million domestically, ‘Wonder Woman‘ crushed all expectations. The stellar debut marks the highest opening for a film directed by a woman. Patty Jenkins’ win dethrones the previous record held by Sam Taylor-Johnson with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘ ($85.1 million). The $100+ million launch is also the sixth-highest for a non-sequel comic book movie. With a great critical response and very strong word of mouth, the film has the potential to lasso a total of $300 million with its domestic run.

‘Wonder Woman’ is playing equally as well overseas. From 55 markets, it whipped up $122.5 million, giving it a worldwide debut of $223 million. Pre-release tracking eyed a $175 million debut, so the $58 million over-performance is excellent for the $149 million picture.

The DreamWorks Animation/Fox family feature ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie‘ landed in second place with $23.5 million. Despite being based on a popular kids’ book series, this debut is less than half of what DreamWorks’ ‘The Boss Baby’ opened to earlier this year. Fortunately, ‘Underpants’ was produced for just $38 million. If it doesn’t cover its production and marketing budgets by the time it wraps up its domestic release, the impending international release will definitely get it there.

Disney may have global money-making machines with the ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel movies, but the ‘Pirates’ franchise is quickly becoming less of a domestic draw. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘ not only dropped from #1 to #3, but it also fell 66% in attendance over its second week. The previous worst drop-off for this franchise was ‘At World’s End’ (the third movie) which fell 62% over this same weekend in 2007. The $230 million film’s ten-day total is at $114.6 million. With foreign box office numbers, however, it’s not quite dead in the water. Internationally, ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ is up to $386.6 million, giving it a worldwide total of $501.2 million. At this rate, so long as Johnny Depp stays attached (or a globally bankable actor can replace him), Disney will never stop making ‘Pirates’ movies.

Five-week-old ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘ finished in fourth place with a distant $9.7 million. The $200 million sequel has earned $355.4 million domestically and $461.1 million internationally, bringing its global total up to $816.5 million. At this point, it’s the fifth-highest MCU grosser, but it doesn’t look like it has enough steam to climb past the $1.1 billion needed to jump another rank.

Baywatch‘ took an unhealthy hit over its second week. Slipping 54%, it rounded out the Top 5 with $8.5 million. The $69 million R-rated comedy has made $41.7 million domestically. Thanks to a decent opening weekend in 31 international markets, it pulled another $25.5 million. To date, the movie has $67.2 million in the bank.

The release of Pantelion’s Mexican comedy ‘3 Idiotas‘ failed to result in the same big numbers as other recent Spanish-language releases. Playing on 349 screens, the film took $600,000, for a $1,719 per-screen average. The remake also kicked off overseas, but the markets and numbers for that have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Wonder Woman’ (Warner Bros.) – $100.5 million

2. ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ (Fox) – $23,500,000

3. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ (Buena Vista) – $21,613,000

4. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (Buena Vista) – $9,733,000

5. ‘Baywatch’ (Paramount) – $8,500,000

6. ‘Alien: Covenant’ (Fox) – $4,000,000

7. ‘Everything, Everything’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,320,000

8. ‘Snatched’ (Fox) – $1,340,000

9. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ (Fox) – $1,220,000

10. ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ (Warner Bros.) – $1,170,000


  1. Elizabeth

    News sources were reporting $100.5 million for Wonder Woman early Sunday morning. What about the rest of the day? Am I not understanding how box office totals work? Does only part of Sunday count for the opening weekend figures?

    • The initial box office numbers are estimates. In most cases, Sunday performance can be predicted (within a reasonable range) based on how Friday and Saturday go. The final numbers (called the “actuals”) are released Monday afternoon. It’s very rare that the actuals wind up being far off from the estimates, but it has occasionally happened in cases where, for example, a movie’s word-of-mouth was so bad that potential Sunday viewers were turned off and decided not to go.

  2. NJScorpio

    I saw WW this weekend…I really enjoyed it, lots of great scenes…but in the wake of Logan, it’s hard to not have the common beats of super hero origin movies be glaringly distracting. I might not be the only one who feels this way, as is apparently by the existence of Logan in the first place. Perhaps this might be the last of the good superhero origin stories that follow the ‘Iron Man formula’, before we begin seeing a new pattern/approach take over the genre. I don’t have high hopes for stand alone Cyborg or Aquaman movies, and while Black Panther will surely be enjoyable, it will just be another variation of the MCU flavors. What’s after that, the Wasp origin movie? I suspect we will be looking back at the releases of ‘Logan’ and ‘Wonder Woman” as a ‘last hurrah’ of super hero movies as we have known them.

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