Well, that was fast. Even with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 65%, causing it to lose its “Certified Fresh” status, and a B+ CinemaScore from fans, Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that it will fast-track development on the third installment of the Wonder Woman franchise to be written by Patty Jenkins (hopefully no involvement from Geoff Johns), who is attached to direct, and starring Gal Gadot.
The announcement was made today by Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
Wonder Woman 1984 easily conquered the holiday weekend, exceeding box office projections as the top post-pandemic domestic opening weekend for any feature film this year, with $16.7 million in box office. Wonder Woman 1984 took in an estimated $36.1 million globally from 42 markets in release this weekend (including U.S. and Canada).
“As fans around the world continue to embrace Diana Prince, driving the strong opening weekend performance of Wonder Woman 1984, we are excited to be able continue her story with our real life Wonder Women – Gal and Patty – who will return to conclude the long-planned theatrical trilogy,” said Emmerich.
On HBO Max, anticipation for Wonder Woman 1984 was apparent, with nearly half of the platform’s retail subscribers viewing the film on the day of its arrival, along with millions of wholesale subscribers who have access to HBO Max via a cable, wireless, or other partner services. HBO Max also saw the total viewing hours on Friday more than triple in comparison to a typical day in the previous month.
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“Wonder Woman 1984 broke records and exceeded our expectations across all of our key viewing and subscriber metrics in its first 24 hours on the service, and the interest and momentum we’re seeing indicates this will likely continue well beyond the weekend,” said Andy Forssell, Executive Vice President and General Manager, WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer. “During these very difficult times, it was nice to give families the option of enjoying this uplifting film at home, where theater viewing wasn’t an option.”
Private watch parties and large format screens (IMAX®, Dolby, PLF) drove ticket sales and were the most popular option among consumers. Over the weekend, over 10,000 private rentals were booked, an innovative and popular way for audiences to feel comfortable watching the film in their own social bubbles.
In the U.S., only 39% of U.S. cinemas (representing 56% of the box office) are currently open at limited capacity, with closures in top markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia, among others.
WW1984 is playing in over 2,100 theaters nationwide with limited capacity. This represents about half of the locations and, in these theaters, half of the available seating compared to a pre-pandemic environment.
The first Wonder Woman film was available at 4,165 theaters in 2017 at 100% seating. In Canada, only 5% of theaters (representing 3% of the total Canadian box-office) are open. The Canadian theatrical market was supplemented with a PVOD day and date release which yielded an additional estimated $4 million.
40 markets internationally opened Wonder Woman 1984 in the first two weeks representing 68% of total box office, compared to 2017 with 58 markets representing 77% of total box office for Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman 1984 was released via a unique, consumer-focused distribution model in which Warner Bros. exhibited the film theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one-month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. concurrent with the film’s domestic release.
This hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S. Following the one-month HBO Max access period domestically, Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title.
Jenkins was reportedly on the fence about returning as she, like other filmmakers, was not pleased by WB’s decision to release 2021’s slate of films both theatrically and on HBO Max.
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Stay tuned for our review of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984...
The Geek is a working screenwriter, director and screenwriting instructor.