For the third weekend in a row, the actual Wonder Woman weekend numbers turned out to be larger than the estimates. So yeah, Wonder Woman made $41.3 million over its third weekend of release. That’s a drop of just 29.5% from its previous $58.25m second weekend. That’s still one of the very smallest third weekend drops ever for a $100m+ opener, behind only Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (-22% for a $49m weekend on New Year’s) and The Jungle Book (-28.9% for a $43m third weekend last April). It is the fourth-biggest third weekend for a superhero movie, behind The Avengers ($55m), Spider-Man ($45m) and The Dark Knight ($42m). It is the 11th-biggest third weekend of all time. The film has now earned $275.127m in 17 days of domestic theatrical play.
In an era of almost weekly so-called “event movies,” Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is the genuine article. It’s the kind of hit movie that’s playing so well and so wide in terms of demographics that it’s doing real damage to the competition. It’s hurting the other tentpoles (The Mummy), the other superhero movies (Captain Underpants) the kid-targeted animated films (Cars 3) and the other female-led studio releases (Rough Night). That’s not necessarily a good thing. No one wins when movies like Rough Night tank and the whole “tentpoles that play to adults and kids” thing isn’t great for a varied multiplex. Nonetheless, Wonder Woman is an invaluable lesson in how much money you can make when you offer a pretty decent movie based upon something that audiences actually want to see.
Here’s a nutty stat: It has dropped just 60% from its first weekend ($103.25 million) to its third weekend, which is lower than most second weekend drops for these kinds of movies. It will eventually shed screens as the late June/early July offerings (Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes) take their shot. But based on these legs, there is little reason to expect Wonder Woman to slow down over the next month. With one arguable exception (“I do not kill with my gun, I kill with my heart.”), it’s unique unto itself in that it’s a big(ish) budget franchise offering from an IP where fans and moviegoers wanted to see a movie version. So how much higher might it climb?
Come what may, it is already on track to be one of the leggiest $100 million+ openers ever. The film has earned $275m in North America after 17 days of domestic play. That gives it a 2.65x weekend-to-final multiplier, already putting it alongside the leggier MCU movies (think Thor and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and above the likes of Suicide Squad (2.48x) and just over/under the various Hunger Games (2.7x) movies. By next week, it should have around $315m domestic, which will give it a 3x multiplier. So now the question is how long it keeps playing not like a comic book superhero movie but like a kid-powered animated film (its Sunday gross was higher than its Friday gross in its second and third weekends) or one of those Walt Disney live-action fairy tale movies.
Of the 44 movies that have opened with over $100 million, discounting a few that didn’t open on a Friday (sorry Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and your $62m opening Wednesday or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and your Thurs-to-Mon Memorial Day weekend debut), 12 of them had multipliers of 3x or more. And yeah, the still-current king of the hill in this regard, Shrek 2, made so little of its $129m Wed-Sun debut on Wednesday and Thursday ($21m) that I’m inclined to count its stunning 4.1x multiplier. But if you’re counting pure Fri-Sun debuts, the champion remains Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936.6m domestic total/$247.9m opening weekend = 3.78x multiplier).
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