Weekend Box Office: ‘Woman’ Wonderful In Record Debut

Step aside, boys of summer. The warrior princess of Themyscira has arrived.

The opening for Warner Brothers’ Wonder Woman kicked some serious box office ass this weekend, singlehandedly giving North American multiplexes the financial boost they needed following the worst Memorial Day weekend in nearly two decades.

The fourth film in Warner Brothers’ DC Expanded Universe, Wonder Woman fought its way to a superb $100.5 million from 4,125 theaters in its debut. The Patty Jenkins action flick laid claim to the third biggest opening of 2017 so far following Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two. Woman’s opening also established a new record for biggest debut for a movie directed by a female, surpassing the previous record held by Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey. That film scored $85 million in its debut two years ago.

The daily breakdown for Wonder Woman was: $11 million from Thursday night previews, $27.1 million on Friday, $35.8 million on Saturday (+44% from Friday) and an estimated $26 million on Sunday (-27.5%). Demographically, the women outnumbered the men at screenings nationwide approximately 53 to 47%.

While the Gal Godot feature didn’t have the biggest opening of a DC Universe feature, it certainly had the most welcome from both the critics and the public. Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad may have all been hits, but the critics and fans certainly like what they saw.

Wonder Woman is another story. The $150 million production scored a rock solid 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is only one percent below 2008’s The Dark Knight. Wonder Woman also scored a 76/100 on Metacritic and an “A” from ticket buyers on CinemaScore. Combine all those, and that should translate into a domestic box office haul close to the $300 million mark.

Adding to Wonder Woman’s good fortunes was a robust opening in 55 overseas markets, where it earned $122.5 million. China led the way for the superhero origin story with a $38 million weekend opening.

Diana Prince wasn’t the only new superhero in town. For families who felt the PG-13 epic may have been too much for the youngest viewers, Fox/Dreamworks offered up the animated comedy Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Featuring the voice talents of Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, Captain Underpants had a decent bow on 3,434 screens Friday where it scored a solid $23.5 million.

Critics gave Captain Underpants an 86% approval Rating on Rotten Tomatoes while ticket buyers gave the film a “B+” on CinemaScore. The $35 million production should continue to do decent matinee business until Cars 3 rolls into town in a couple of weeks (consider yourself warned).

After arriving to a lukewarm reception one week ago, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales quickly walked the plank in its sophomore session thanks to the arrival of Wonder Woman and some rather dire word-of-mouth from moviegoers. Jack Sparrow charmed 66% less ticket buyers this weekend, which translated into $21.6 million in box office booty from 4,276 theaters.

After ten days, Dead Men have plundered approximately $115 million in domestic box office booty so far. Should it continue on its current trajectory, a final domestic haul near $160 million is possible for the $230 million production, a steep drop of approximately 50% from $241 million commandeered by 2011’s On Stranger Tides.

While the Pirates series appears to be running aground in North America, the cinematic seas that make up the international box office appear to be calm. After two weeks, the international total for Dead Men Tell No Tales is standing tall at $386 million.

Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two cooled off a bit post-Memorial Day but still hung around the top five for a fifth straight weekend. Off 53%, Star Lord and Trash Panda brought in an estimated $9.7 million from 3,507 theaters to bring its overall total to $355 million. The James Gunn feature should finish around the $375 million mark. Overseas, Guardians Volume Two has brought in $461.1 million.

Rounding out the top five was Paramount’s Baywatch with $8.5 million from 3,647 theaters. Like the Pirates sequel, bad word-of-mouth sank this turkey faster than expected. The Dwayne Johnson comedy sank 54% in its sophomore session while bringing its overall domestic total up to the $42 million mark. A final domestic haul between $55-60 million mark for the $69 million production is possible. Overseas, Baywatch has brought in $25.5 million so far.

  1.  Alien: Covenant (Fox) $4 million (-63%); $67.2 million
  2.  Everything, Everything (MGM) $3.3 million (-49%); $28.3 million
  3.  Snatched (Fox) $1.3 million (-66%); $43.8 million
  4.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Fox) $1.2 million (-73%); $17.8 million
  5.  King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Warner) $1.17 million (-65%) $37.1 million

Next weekend’s new offerings include the latest resurrection of The Mummy from Universal Pictures, the military drama Meagan Leavey and the horror feature It Comes Out At Night. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that The Mummy won’t pose much of a fight to the second weekend for Wonder Woman, although it should manage to pull in around $45 million.

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