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Weekend Wrap-Up: Wonder Woman is the Spider-Man of Super Heroes

June 13th, 2017

Wonder Woman

The weekend box office had a few surprises, some positive and some negative. On the positive side, Wonder Woman had the best hold for a major super hero movie since Spider-Man and is on pace for $340 million to $375 million. On the negative side were all three new releases. The Mummy finished on the low side of already low expectations, while It Comes At Night pleased critics, but not moviegoers. Meanwhile, Megan Leavey missed the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office fell 22% from last weekend to $144 million. This is 5.7% lower than this weekend last year. Fortunately, since this time last week, 2017 expanded its lead over 2016 by about $20 million at $4.90 billion to $4.73 billion. We are almost halfway through the year, so a $175 million / 3.7% lead is solid. It isn’t impossible for that lead to evaporate, but it is enough to be cautiously optimistic about the final tally.

Wonder Woman fell just 43% during its sophomore stint to $58.52 million over the weekend for a two-week total of $206.34 million. It is just the fifth film released in 2017 to reach that milestone and it did it fast enough that $300 million is virtually guaranteed at this point. The film’s drop-off is the best for a major super hero release since Spider-Man. It is very rare for a super hero film to fall less than 50% during its second weekend of release, especially when they open on a Friday. (Opening earlier in the week tends to help in this regard, as The Amazing Spider-Man illustrates.) The original Thor fell only 47% and that was considered shockingly good legs. Compared to the other films in the DCEU, it’s practically a miracle it did this well. If it keeps it up, it will overtake the other three films in the DCEU by the end of its domestic box office run. Its 93% positive reviews suggest this is likely, but the competition gets tougher from now on.

Is the Dark Universe over before it had a real chance to begin? The reaction to The Mummy certainly makes that a possibility. Not only did critics destroy this movie, but moviegoers mostly stayed away as the film only managed $31.67 million. Relatively speaking, this isn’t a better result than Dracula Untold, Universal’s previous attempt at a Combined Movie Monster Universe. After all, Dracula Untold only cost $70 million to make compared to a reported $125 million for The Mummy. Furthermore, that film earned better reviews than this one did, so should end up with better legs. If The Mummy’s legs are worse than those of Dracula Untold, then even its international numbers won’t be enough to make it a true success. The studio will continue to make movies in this franchise, mainly because it is too late to stop a couple of the upcoming films, but unless The Bride of Frankenstein earns overwhelmingly positive reviews, moviegoers burned by this movie will simply stay away.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie matched expectations perfectly with $12.18 million over the weekend for a two-week total of $44.44 million. It took barely more than a week for the film to match its $38 million production budget and should last long enough in theaters for the studio’s share of the box office to cover that figure. (It will need about $70 million to do so.) Assuming the film can find an audience internationally and the studio’s share of merchandising is significant enough, then we should see another book in the franchise turned into a movie sooner rather than later.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales slipped a spot to fourth with $10.70 million over the weekend for a total of $135.83 million after three weeks of release. It is on pace for $160 million domestically, more or less, while it is performing a lot better internationally. It should break even sometime on the home market, but this is a large drop-off from the previous installment in the franchise, so this should be the end.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 managed one more week in the top five with $6.31 million over the weekend for a total of $366.43 million after six weeks of release. The studio’s share of this is about $200 million, so there’s no way they are unhappy with this result and there’s no way there won’t be a Vol 3 in the near future.

On the other hand, It Comes at Night is a real disappointment for A24. It is the widest release they’ve ever had, but it struggled mightily with just $5.99 million over the weekend. Its reviews were great, but it only managed a D from CinemaScore, so this one was for the critics only. Granted, it only cost $5 million to make, so the studio isn’t going to lose a lot of money here, but it won’t even cover its marketing costs theatrically.

The final new release of the week was Megan Leavey, which missed the Mendoza Line with just $3.81 million in 1,956 theaters. Its reviews are excellent and it earned an A from CinemaScore, but theater owners will be looking to drop this one as soon as they are contractually able to, so the word of mouth won’t save it in theaters.

- Weekend Box Office Chart

- The Mummy Comparisons
- It Comes At Night Comparisons
- Megan Leavey Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Wonder Woman, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Mummy, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Megan Leavey, It Comes at Night, Pirates of the Caribbean, DC Extended Universe, Dark Universe