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‘Wonder Woman’ Breaks Glass Ceiling For Female Directors & Stomps On ‘Iron Man’ With $103.1M Debut – Monday AM Update

Deadline logo Deadline 6/5/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
© Provided by Deadline

8th UPDATE, Monday, 7:10 AM: Warner Bros./DC’s Wonder Woman beat its Sunday projections and will end her three-day reign with $103.1 million at the domestic box office. The Patty Jenkins-directed movie, which also reps the best opening ever for a female director, grossed $29.7M on Sunday, down 16% from WB’s revised Saturday of $35.2M — a fantastic hold that’s on par with Guardians Of The Galaxy‘s Sunday (-18%).

Again, a big win for DC here, because not only does the label have the box office to crow about, but also the awesome reviews (93% fresh) and audience reactions (A CinemaScore). Those were lacking with Suicide Squad and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

If there’s an indication Hollywood is changing its attitude toward hiring female directors, this summer shows it: Wonder Woman is one of eight features to be helmed by a woman, the others being Sony’s Rough Night (Lucia Aniello), Bleecker Street’s Megan Leavey (Gabriela Cowperthwaite), Focus Features’ The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola), Paramount’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (Bonni Cohen co-directing), Annapurna’s Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow), Fox Searchlight’s Step (Amanda Lipitz), and Open Road’s Home Again (Hallie Meyes-Shyer).

As we head into next weekend, can Wonder Woman beat Universal’s The Mummy for the top spot at the box office? Projections for that Tom Cruise film reside in the low-$40M range.

Below is how Wonder Women stands next to other superhero first chapters at the box office (sans superhero spinoff ensembles, i.e. Suicide Squad and The Avengers).

tOP OPENINGS FOR SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORIES

Thumb

Film

Distributor

Release

opening weekend

Deadpool

Fox

2016

$132.4M

Man of Steel

WB

2013

$116.6M

Spider-Man

Sony

2002

$114.8M

Wonder Woman

WB

2017

$103.1M

Iron Man

Par/Marvel

2008

$98.6M

Note: Does not include superhero ensemble spinoff movies

 7th UPDATE writethru, Sunday 7:11 AM after 12:45 AM: The warrior princess of Themyscira is finally leaping past the century mark this weekend with $100.5M according to Warner Bros., however, other studios believe Wonder Woman has the power to exceed $101M this weekend.

As we’ve observed all weekend long, the Patty Jenkins-directed tentpole is a benchmark, breaking the domestic opening record for a movie helmed by a woman, the previous champ being Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.1M). On a worldwide basis for female directors, Wonder Woman at $223M ranks second behind Fifty Shades of Grey ($242M). Nonetheless, it’s been a great week for female directors with Wonder Woman‘s high following in the wake of Sofia Coppola’s best director win at the Cannes Film Festival for The Beguiled. That’s the second time in the fest’s 70 year history that a female has taken a directing prize.

Talk about a woman’s touch at the box office: Wonder Woman helped close the gap between this summer and last with 2017 through five weekends now only down -3.4% from the same frame a year ago with $1 billion according to ComScore. This year’s (Jan. 1-June 4) U.S./Canada ticket sales, currently at $4.75B, continues to be 3% ahead of last year’s banner year. Overall, the domestic B.O. for this weekend came in at $181.5M, +35% over the same period a year ago.

“This movie resonated globally,” beamed Warner Bros. domestic distribution boss Jeff Goldstein about the $223M worldwide result for the female DC superhero movie. “Wonder Woman is a woman for our time, and her message and the tone that Patty Jenkins set forth connects with now. Sue Kroll, Blair Rich and their marketing teams did a brilliant job with this film, and our publicity team screened it early and set the pace for Wonder Women so it peaked on opening weekend.”

The success of Wonder Woman this weekend even impressed John Fithian, National Association of Theatre Owners CEO & President who exclaimed, ““I want to congratulate Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Warner Bros on the terrific opening, but Wonder Woman’s success is everybody’s success. At NATO, at CinemaCon, we have for years called for diversity in movies that match the diversity of our audiences, not just because it’s a good idea but because it’s good business. What we really look forward to is the day when a movie directed by a woman and telling a woman’s story is no longer news because it was successful – or even that it was produced at all – because such movies should be a matter of routine. We will grow our audiences by telling more stories that tell their stories.”

Wonder Woman easily beats the opening of the first Iron Man ($98.6M), though she still floats under the openings of such single (not team) superhero origin features as Deadpool ($132.4M), Man of Steel ($116.6M), and Spider-Man ($114.8M). Currently, Wonder Woman is the sixth best domestic opening at the June B.O, and second best for WB and DC after Man of Steel. If she can get past the $109M generated by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, then Wonder Woman will own the fifth-best debut for the month.

Wonder Woman surged to after an estimated $35.8M yesterday. Now, since studios include Thursday preview B.O. in Friday’s opening figure, Wonder Woman is -8% from Friday’s $38.7M. However, back that $11M Thursday cash out of Friday, and technically Wonder Woman is +44% Saturday over Friday. Front-loaded? Don’t think so.

To give you some stats about the Wonder Woman shoot: pre-production took 10 months, while shooting lasting 104 days (the average for a studio feature film is 65 days). The regular cast and crew numbered 1,500 and that doesn’t include the 5,600 extras that were used.

This latest iteration of Wonder Woman was arguably close to four years in the making if you think about it when director Zack Synder selected Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot to play the red, white and blue bathing-suit clad demi-God. Gadot was introduced before fans at the 2015 Comic-Con when the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice panel was held. In addition, Gadot sat on “The Women Who Kick Ass” panel. She returned last year with director Patty Jenkins, Chris Pine and Connie Nielsen.

While some in the press would juxtapose Wonder Woman‘s campaign to the size of BvS or Suicide Squad‘s, the fact of the matter is that for WB it was a global studio wide effort, pulling together all their forces, and aiming to excite those potential demos well beyond the character’s fans.

The film’s social media campaign highlighted themes of Power, Courage, Wisdom and Wonder. Through talent debuts, platform partnerships and custom hashtag initiatives, such as #WonderWednesdays, #SheIsWonderWoman, #WWFanArt, Wonder Woman‘s social aimed to empower fans to be active participants in the campaign, from the very beginning. Mission accomplished as its total universe across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube views numbered at least 334M according to RelishMix, with viral video material that spread at a rate of 37:1, well above the current superhero tentpole average of 12:1.

Online, Gadot and Pine kicked off #WonderWednesdays, a weekly fan-forward social campaign hosted on the Wonder Woman Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels. Fans tuned in each Wednesday for new content releases and reveals. There was a Snapchat first-ever Five-lens Wonder Woman themed lens takeover, a Facebook Wonder Woman crown mask takeover and Messenger game. Warner Bros. also partnered with Google’s Made with Code to create a custom Wonder Woman-themed coding challenge/project to encourage teen girls to participate in the sciences, via coding. At YouTube Space LA, there was an advanced screening of the film + Masterclass Q&A with director Patty Jenkins, and a Wonder Woman-themed soiree. YouTubeSpace LA, Wonder Woman, DC, and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls social channels lead the social media coverage. Of course, there’s been a slew of Wonder Woman stickers and Emojis.

There was a whole promo around Mother’s Day with Wonder Woman with fans celebrating inspiring real-life Wonder Woman with the strong, declarative hashtag, #SheIsWonderWoman. Gadot and Pine kicked off the campaign, and included a special Mother’s Day screening event for genre press and their real-life Wonder Woman on the WB lot. Advanced ticketing push across Fandango, IMDb, Atom Tickets, encouraged fans to buys tickets on Mother’s Day and take their Wonder Woman to see the film on opening day. Custom National Snapchat lens encouraged users to snap a photo or video with their moms. There was even a push for the film among parenting blogging sites. Gadot held a Mommy daughter event at the worldwide junket for parenting bloggers.

Meanwhile, June 3 was christened “Wonder Woman Day” with 2K-plus comic retailers, bookstores, libraries and other partners celebrating and distributing free copies of two special edition issues: Wonder Woman Day special edition No. 1 reprints and Wonder Woman No. 1 by Greg Rucka and artist Liam Sharp.

WB screened the movie for key members of female empowerment social media site Lean In. There were Wonder Woman fan first screenings tied in with the pic’s #WonderWednesdays initiative.

Gadot and Pine each hosted dedicated Omaze charity campaigns, benefiting two organizations of their choice with winners invited to meet the stars at the world premiere. Wonder Woman even left her footprint at SXSW with two-themed murals placed in high-traffic locations in downtown Austin and the tech-forward Art of Wonder pop up, located at the Google Fiber space, where fans could watch Google Tiltbrush artists bring the world of Diana Prince to life in VR.

Among notable promo partners: there was a line of Wonder Woman-themed Dr. Pepper cans, a Pinkberry flavor named after her, and a seven-piece clothing line released by Hot Topic.

Screen Engine/ComScore’s updated PostTrak shows more women than men watching Wonder Woman, 53% to 47%. Older women over 25 are still the predominant quad at 35%, followed by men over 25 at 33%.  Women under 25 have grown slightly from 17% yesterday to 19% today, though guys under 25 are still the minority at Wonder Woman, only repping 14%.  In regards to total positive score, women love Wonder Woman just a little bit more than men, 89% to 85%.

In addition, more women than men are definitely recommending Wonder Woman to their friends, 78% to 70%. In North America, Wonder Woman grossed $9M at 343 Imax hubs, repping 9% of its weekend haul. That’s the fifth best D.C. opening  for the large format exhibitor behind Suicide Squad‘s $10.6M and ahead of  The Dark Knight‘s $6.3M.  Twelve of the top 20 runs for the movie were Imax theaters, and approximately 43% of the estimated worldwide $223 M was in 3D ticket sales.

Did women attend with their friends? Word is that all of the Women-only screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse locations sold out this weekend. Also, there was this group of 75 women who attended, some wearing their “We Are All Diana” shirts:

Wonder Woman‘s A CinemaScore and 93% Certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes reps a rebound for DC having been weathered last year by a critical backlash and tepid audience reaction (though not dollar wise) for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Wonder Woman easily reps the best opening this year to date for Warner Bros. which was recently scorched by Guy Ritchie’s bomb King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

In second, 20th Century Fox/DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants charted $8.88M, +11% over Friday with an opening of $23.5M. Forty-five kids were out of K-12 school on Friday and that number is growing with 52% on Monday, 60% by the end of the weekend, and floodgates finally open the following week when everyday is like a weekend day.

Disney owned spots three and four respectively with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($8.85M Sat, +40% for a second weekend of $21.8M, $114.8M cume) and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 ($4.05M Sat, +56% with fifth weekend of $9.7M, $355.4M cume). Paramount’s Baywatch is fifth with $3.5M,  +35% over Friday and a second weekend of $8.46M (-54%) for an 11-day domestic total of $41.65M.

Studio-reported estimates as of Sunday AM for June 2-4:

1.). Wonder Woman  (WB), 4,165 theaters / $38.8M Fri. (includes $11M previews)/$35.8M Sat/$25.9M Sun/3-day cume: $100.5M/Total: Wk 2

2.). Captain Underpants  (DWA/20TH), 3,434 theaters / $8M Fri. (includes $650K previews) /$8.88M Sat/ $6.6M Sun/3-day cume: $23.5M/Total: Wk 1

3.). Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales  (DIS), 4,276 theaters / $6.3M Fri./$8.9M Sat/$6.5M Sun/3-day cume: $21.6M (-66%)/Total:$114.6M/ Wk 2

4.). The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (DIS), 3,507 theaters (-364) / $2.7M Fri. /$4.1M Sat/$3M Sun/3-day cume: $9.7M (-53%) /  Total: $355.4M / Wk 5

5.). Baywatch (FOX), 3,647 theaters / $2.65M Fri./$3.5M Sat/$2.35M Sun/ 3-day cume: $8.5M (-54%)/Total:$41.7M/ Wk 2

6.). Alien: Covenant (FOX), 2,660 theaters (-1,112) / $1.12M Fri.  /$1.67M Sat/$1.2M Sun/3-day cume: $4M (-62%)/Total: $67.2M Wk 3

7.). Everything, Everything (WB/MGM), 2,375 theaters (-426) / $1M Fri. /$1.3M Sat/ $930K Sun/3-day cume: $3.3M (-45%) /Total:$28.3M/  Wk 3

8). Snatched (FOX), 1,625 theaters (-1,033) / $390K Fri. /$574K Sat/ $376K Sun/3-day cume: $1.34M (-66%) / Total:$43.9M / Wk 4

9.) Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (FOX), 2,088 theaters (-1,086) / $363K Fri.  / $495K Sat/ $362K Sun/3-day cume: $1.22M (-73%)/ Total: $17.8M/Wk 3

10.). King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (WB/VR), 1,222 theaters (-1,281)/ $330K  Fri. /$495K Sat/ $345K Sun/3-day cume: $1.17M (-64%) /Total:$37.1M / Wk 4

Notables:

3 Idiotas  (LG), 349 theaters / $174K Fri. /$211K Sat/ $215K Sun/3-day cume: $600K/ Wk 1

Churchill (Cohen) 215 theaters/ 3-day: $426K/Wk 1

5th UPDATE, Saturday writethru after Friday 11:40 PM: After weathering lackluster critical scores and OK fan response with last year’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad, all is well and correct in the Warner Bros/DC universe as Wonder Woman is both a hit with critics (94% Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences, earning an A CinemaScore on top of her current $97.1 million opening.

Out of all the titles in the WB/DC canon, Wonder Woman owns one of five rare A grades along with Batman, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Today will determine whether Wonder Woman propels past $100M, and a few believe it’s not out of the question.

Four weeks ago, Wonder Woman arrived on tracking at $65M and just grew from there — to $75M three weeks out, and $90M a few days before its opening. Not only is that evidence of Warner Bros’ marketing machine working effectively, but it’s also an example of what happens when Rotten Tomatoes works in a tentpole’s favor, especially as there’s a groundswell of great reviews days before a film opens.

Compare this to last weekend, when two movies — Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch, which originally arrived on tracking a month out with great prospects — saw their B.O. projections dashed days before opening no thanks to the aggregator site’s sour scores. Even though both titles earned decent CinemaScores of A- and B+, respectively, moviegoers relied instead on Rotten Tomatoes in determining whether to watch those movies or not.

But now Wonder Woman can look forward to super-powerful long legs for the rest of summer thanks to the Rotten Tomato rating and excellent audience reaction; Screen Engine/ComScore is now reporting a 74% definite recommend for the Gal Gadot-starring movie.

The pent-up demand for Wonder Woman is reminiscent of how moviegoers were longing for the first Batman movie 28 years ago. Look around and you’ll see women and young girls wearing Wonder Woman T-shirts and leather jackets, licensed product that’s part of a $6.5 billion merchandising revenue stream for Warner Bros. In fact, during the month leading up to Wonder Woman‘s opening, eBay sales for her merchandise more than doubled when compared to April. In fact, Warner Bros Consumer Products has grouped their DC femmes Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Supergirl and Poison Ivy as a means to rival Disney’s Princess doll line which generates $4B annually.

Now, whenever a studio is marketing a tentpole, the last thing they need is controversy that distracts from their campaign, seeps into a film’s reviews and sends its box office down the drain, i.e., Ghost In The Shell offending the Asian American community with its whitewash casting of Scarlett Johansson. In fact, Wonder Woman last month endured a small controversy of its own when the studio partnered with ThinkThin protein bars. The announcement created immediate ire among female-driven media: They felt the cross-promotion ran counter to Wonder Women’s symbol of female empowerment, but it reminded women of the harsh criticism that Gadot endured over her body following her attachment to the project. But it was ThinkThin’s product slogans that jived with Wonder Woman‘s sensibilities, i.e. a strong body makes a strong mind; a scale can’t measure your strength, courage, kindness or intelligence.

However, the good will emanating from Wonder Woman was so loud, it’s made that marketing snafu ancient history. Nothing could stand in the way of this film’s momentum.

Bigger progress is being made this weekend by the Patty Jenkins-directed film, especially in a Hollywood that counts only 4% female directors across 1,000 top movies (for the period of 2007-2016, per a USC study): Wonder Woman shattered the domestic box office opening record for a movie directed by a woman, beating previous champ Fifty Shades Of Grey by Sam Taylor-Johnson ($85.1M). Wonder Woman is the second benchmark for female helmers in less than a week following Sofia Coppola’s best director win at the Cannes Film Festival for her movie The Beguiled; it marked just the second time in the event’s 70-year history a woman has won that prize. The hope from these events is that the major studios embrace female directors for big-budget projects in greater numbers. Marvel and Disney are respectively carrying the torch, with Anna Boden as co-director on the Brie Larson-starring Captain Marvel and Ava DuVernay on A Wrinkle In Time.

CinemaScore showed more women turning out — 52%-48%, with 14% under 18 (A) and 14% between the ages of 18-24 (A+), as well as 53% under age 35. However, for the most part, the movie means more to older millennials and Gen X, with 71% over the age of 25 (A). Fifty-nine percent came out because it was a Wonder Woman movie, while Gadot was responsible for 32% of all ticket buyers. PostTrak continues to show older females over 25 leading the charge to Wonder Woman (37%), followed by guys over 25 (34%), females under 25 (17%), and men under 25 (12%).

Thanks to Wonder Woman, Warner Bros’ 2017 domestic box office tally by Sunday will near $640M, up 22% over the Jan. 1- June 4 period last year.

Counterprogramming is also solid this weekend, with DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox’s handholder pic Captain Underpants drawing $25.7M, a great start considering that’s off a mid-$30M production cost before P&A and that these kid pics can do at least a 4- to 5-end multiple stateside. DWA acquired rights to the Dav Pilkey novels six years ago.

The studio, given their passion for the property, wanted to accelerate the project, but their pipeline was full with Trolls and The Boss Baby. In order to move Captain Underpants forward, DWA outsourced the animation to Mikros in Montreal; the first time DWA partnered outside its own in-house team. These factors led to an experimental process, which was viable because of the simplistic style of the book’s illustrations, resulting in a quicker and less expensive production process. Captain Underpants gets a B+ CinemaScore. The under-18s are repping 50% of the crowd and gave the movie an A-. Last night, dads slightly outnumbered moms at 51%-49%.

For the weekend of June 2-4, based on late night Saturday estimates:

1.). Wonder Woman  (WB), 4,165 theaters / $38.7M Fri. (includes $11M previews)/3-day cume: $97.1M/Total: Wk 2

2.). Captain Underpants  (DWA/20TH), 3,434 theaters / $8M Fri. (includes $650K previews) /3-day cume: $25.7M/Total: Wk 1

3.). Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales  (DIS), 4,276 theaters / $6.3M Fri. (-73%)/3-day cume: $21.3M (-66%)/Total:$114.3M/ Wk 2

4.). The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (DIS), 3,507 theaters (-364) / $2.6M Fri.(-51%) /3-day cume: $9.7M (-54%) /  Total: $355.4M / Wk 5

5.). Baywatch (FOX), 3,647 theaters / $2.6M Fri.(-54%)/ 3-day cume: $8.5M (-54%)/Total:$41.3M/ Wk 2

6.). Alien: Covenant (FOX), 2,660 theaters (-1,112) / $1.1M Fri. (-61%)  /$3-day cume: $3.9M (-63%)/Total: $67.1M Wk 3

7.). Everything, Everything (WB/MGM), 2,375 theaters (-426) / $1M Fri. (-50%)//3-day cume: $3.1M (-48%) /Total:$28.1M/  Wk 3

8/9.). Snatched (FOX), 1,625 theaters (-1,033) / $385K Fri. (-65%)  /3-day cume: $1.3M (-68%) / Total:$43.8 M / Wk 4

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (FOX), 2,088 theaters (-1,086) / $368K Fri. (-71%) / 3-day cume: $1.3M (-70%)/ Total: $17.9M/Wk 3

10.). King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (WB/VR), 1,222 theaters (-1,281)/ $322K  Fri. (-64%) /3-day cume: $1.1M (-67%) /Total:$37.1M / Wk 4

Notables:

3 Idiotas  (LG), 349 theaters / $175K Fri. /3-day cume: $597K/Total: Wk 1

3RD UPDATE Writethru, Friday 4:38 PM: Late afternoon industry estimates show Warner Bros/DC and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman rising to $38.5M today, and $95M+ for the weekend. That’s easily the best domestic opening for a female director, beating previous champ Fifty Shades of Grey directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson ($85.1M).  Some think Wonder Woman can tip $100M over three days; we’ll have a better idea later tonight. Too soon to call.

At this box office level, Wonder Woman is beating the debuts of such first-time superhero features as Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange ($32.6M first day, $85M for the weekend), Guardians Of The Galaxy ($37.8M, $94.3M weekend), Thor ($65.7M) and Captain America: The First Avenger ($65M). Wonder Woman even beats the five-day haul of her DC peer Batman Begins ($72.9M).

Other top openings by female directors include Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight ($69.6M), Jennifer Lee’s Frozen (with Chris Buck, $67.4M) and Brenda Chapman’s Brave (with Mark Andrews at $66.3M).

Breaking down age groups by gender last night, Screen Engine/comScore’s PostTrak showed that women over 25 (37%) led the charge into theaters, followed by men over 25 (35%), then men under 25 (15%) and women under 25 (13%). It will be interesting to see whether that latter demo explodes as we head into the weekend as they’re apt to make decisions on the fly, and in groups. Sixty-three percent of the audience bought tickets yesterday vs. 10% more than a week ago. Fifty-three percent watched Wonder Woman in 3D versus 47% in 2D.

Also doing well is 20th Century Fox’s Captain Underpants with an estimated $8M-$9M per industry sources today and between $25M-$31M at 3,434 venues for the weekend, slotting second. Why so good? Because we hear the movie cost under $30M (before P&A) as it was part of a new experimental model under the DreamWorks Animation umbrella. Great reviews at 84% are certainly helping here. The movie is based on the epic kids books by Dav Pilkey, directed by David Soren and starring the voices of Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele and Kristen Schaal.

Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales isn’t far behind with $6M today and an estimated $21M in Weekend 2, down 67%, for a 10-day run of $110.4M. Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2looks like $2.5M today and a fifth weekend of $9.5M, down 55%, for an estimated running cume of $353.8M by Sunday.

Paramount’s Baywatch is swimming toward $1.8M today and $5.8M in Week 2, down 69%, for a running domestic total by Sunday of $37.7M.

PREVIOUS, Friday, 7:24 AM: Just in time for her 75th anniversary this year, Wonder Woman finally arrived in U.S. cinemas last night courtesy of Warner Bros/DC and director Patty Jenkins with $11 million. It marks the best preview night ever at the domestic box office for a movie directed by a female. The previous record was held by Sam Taylor Johnson’s Fifty Shades Of Grey, which made $8.6M.

Warner Bros had Wonder Woman estimated at a weekend opening of $65M-$75M, while tracking has been more aggressive suggesting a $90M three-day at 4,165 theaters. Critics were cruel last year with the WB/DC movies Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (27% Rotten) and Suicide Squad (25%), but Wonder Woman at 93% Certified Fresh is the best-reviewed DC movie since The Dark Knight Rises five years ago (87% Certified Fresh). And in this box office marketplace, ruby red Rotten Tomatoes ratings are like hard cash, and as such Warner Bros can count on Wonder Woman overperforming since most moviegoers make their ticket-buying decisions off the aggregator site. On Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak, Wonder Woman received an overall 85% total positive score, with an awesome 70% definite recommend. Forty nine-percent said the movie met their expectations, while 47% said it exceeded expectations.

Wonder Woman’s Thursday night charts above the preview nights of such superhero origin stories as Doctor Strange ($9.4M), Ant-Man ($6.4M), Thor ($3.2M) and Captain America: The First Avenger ($4M), and just below Guardians Of The Galaxy ($11.2M). Of Wonder Woman‘s $11M, $1.5M was generated by Imax.

Further deep diving into audience stats, PostTrak shows that 39% attended last night because of their interest in the DC franchise, 53% because it was a superhero movie, and 31% because they love leading actress Gal Gadot. Even more impressive: a 50-50 split between male and female audience members. Thirty-one percent plan to buy Wonder Woman on Blu-ray, while 24% plan to see the movie again in the theater. 

For years, the Burbank, CA studio has tried to bring the most famous female superhero to the big screen, with previous attempts including a 2005 Joel Silver-produced, Joss Whedon-penned version; a 2003 take involving Wonder Woman’s daughter Donna Troy; the 2007 Kieran and Michele Mulroney-scripted Justice League project in which Diana Prince’s alter ego faces off with Superman; and David E. Kelley’s 2011 NBC pilot. While we’ve had previous female superhero titles in the past like Supergirl and Elektra, Wonder Woman is arguably the biggest major studio feature for the sub-genre with an estimated total production & P&A cost of $300M.

Heading into the weekend, social media monitor RelishMix reports glowing word of mouth from a very good social media universe of 333.5M across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube views and Instagram, and the pic’s social media superhero Gal Gadot, who counts 14.2M online fans.

Says RelishMix, “Fans of the DC character are obviously in a cold sweat awaiting tonight’s opening.  They love Gal Gadot, the fact the film was directed by a woman, and that the critics are giving this adventure solid reviews so far. While it’s interesting to see the feminist side-discussion and the superfans rage on, we also see a fair share of summer moviegoers chiming in exclaiming that the trailer looks good, the cast looks awesome — and so does the action.”

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox’s final release of DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants drew $650,000 from previews at 2,550 locations last night which started at 5 PM. School isn’t really out yet for the K-12 crowd, and it pays to note that DWA’s Home made the same amount of money on March 27, 2015. Captain Underpants, which is known to largely appeal to the handholder kid crowd, will open at 3,434 theaters today with an eye on $20M-$22M.

Among those films in regular release, Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales charted an estimated $3.4M at 4,276 venues yesterday taking its opening-week cume to $93M, 18% behind the first week of its previous sequel On Stranger Tides ($113.6M).

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 from Disney/Marvel collected $1.39M yesterday at 3,871 theaters in second, bringing its four-week tally to $345.7M. Paramount’s R-rated Dwayne Johnson-Zac Efron comedy Baywatch slotted third with $1.34M at 3,647 with a running eight-day cume of $33.2M.

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