Wonder Woman has been knocking down all the barriers in her way. The film is now the highest-grossing film by a woman director. It is the highest-grossing DCEU film at the domestic box office. It currently stands at $700 million worldwide, beating out similar origin films; Batman Begins, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Thor. It is closing in on Deadpool, which earned $783 million last year. Wonder Woman will most likely land in second place behind 2001’s Spiderman, adjusted for inflation earned $821 million worldwide.
However, there are some things to get straight. Wonder Woman is not the highest-grossing DCEU film ever. Some of the headlines these past couple of days could lead you to believe that. In terms of the foreign box office the film currently stands at last place with about $360 million, it will surely beat Man of Steel in the coming weeks. Man of Steel ended it’s run with $377 million at the foreign box office. Batman v Superman leads the pack with $542 million, followed by Suicide Squad with $420 million (without ever releasing in China). As for the domestic, Wonder Woman has all of them beat with $346 million. Batman v Superman comes in second with $330 million, Suicide Squad earned $325 million, and Man of Steel earned $291 million.
The biggest hit to Wonder Woman’s foreign gross is China. It was no. 1 in its first weekend at the Chinese box office with $37 million. However the weekend before ,Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales took in $65 million, and had earned up to $144 million when Wonder Woman entered the game. The week after, The Mummy bumped Wonder Woman out of first place, and earned $51 million. Wonder Woman did not make that much of an impression at the Chinese box office. But Wonder Woman does have Man of Steel beat here. In 2013, the Superman flick garnered $25 million it’s opening weekend. Wonder Woman currently has $87 million in the country; Man of Steel tapped out at $65 million. Batman v Superman earned $55 million opening weekend and finished with $95 million in China. Wonder Woman continues to drop at the Chinese market; it will take several weeks to surpass BvS, which is unlikely with SpiderMan: Homecoming and other big releases joining the fun.
The biggest win for Wonder Woman is not just the box office numbers, it is actually the production budget. Of the four DCEU films, Wonder Woman has the lowest budget with $149 million. Batman V Superman leads the $250 million, Man of Steel comes in second with $225 million, and Suicide Squad comes in third with $175 million. Over inflated budgets have been the Achilles heels for many studios. A studio needs to make double the production budget to earn a profit. The higher the budget goes, the risk of less profit increases. Lower production costs does not mean the movie is of lesser quality. Studios needs to understand that a film can have a ridiculously high budget and could still look a landfill.
Wonder Woman‘s march to $700 million is one that must be celebrated, but the headlines that simply say the film is the highest grossing DCEU are not right. It is safe to assume that most individuals do not even read these articles, the headlines tell them whatever they want. Those who are not familiar with box office numbers will just assume that it is the highest grossing DCEU film; it’s not and far from it. At this rate it looks like the film will tap out at $850 million, putting it behind BvS. However, the upcoming summer movies will likely stop Wonder Woman in her tracks a lot sooner than many of us hoped. My prediction is that it will leave theatres with $800 million.
But let’s look at what it has accomplished, and what Hollywood can learn from it. It is the highest grossing superhero film directed by a woman, ever. It is the highest grossing women led superhero film, ever. It is one of the highest grossing women led action flick, too. Some studios have taken note, and are adjusting accordingly. Sony has gotten Gina Prince-Bythewood to direct their women lead Silver & Black film. Marvel hired Anna Boden as part of a duo that will direct Captain Marvel. Fox is moving full speed ahead with X-Men Dark Phoenix. These are the right moves, and it cannot be denied that the hype surrounding Wonder Woman is what brought these studios to make these decisions. Moving forward in the industry overall studios should be opening up the door to women directors, and women directors should be tweaking their elevator pitches right now. The pressure is on to hire more women directors.
Source: Box Office Mojo.