Word of mouth has been quite positive for DC Patty Jenkin's Wonder Woman solo film, but a bit of that early optimism was dulled today when Box Office Pro put out the first estimate for the film's opening weekend, and it was much lower than expected. There's a great deal of pressure on the Gal Gadot starring film, and while it isn't fair by any means, it is the reality of where things stand today thanks to Warner Bros. and DC's less than stellar track record. It begs the question "what does Wonder Woman have to do to be considered a success?"
Wonder Woman can be accurately compared to Marvel's first Captain America film, The First Avenger. Captain America, like Wonder Woman, is one of Marvel's marquee characters in the books, but before The First Avenger Cap had never held down his own film, and the concept and depiction of the character can easily cross over the line of campiness if not in the right hands. The same goes for Wonder Woman, though the character's popularity is 10 times that of Cap. Still, the same principals apply, as the character has yet to hold down her own feature film.
The First Avenger only brought in just over $175 million domestically, with a worldwide total of over $370 million. It opened at just over $65 million, and while Wonder Woman will blow that away, the comparison is valid. Captain America established the character in reality and made you believe in what Steve Rogers represents. Loyalty, compassion, and a genuine drive to do what is right. DC aims to do the same for Diana, displaying the virtues of the character to a whole new audience that maybe doesn't understand why the character is so popular in fan circles. If it does that, regardless of the box office, the film will be considered a success.
In fact, following Cap's example, it has the potential to be the bright spot of the DCEU. The Captain America movies have been the ultimate trophies for the MCU, with many considering The Winter Solider as the pinnacle. Wonder Woman can have the same trajectory, earning more with each new installment and creating new fans that will legitimately follow the character.
Granted, a flop is a flop, sure, so if it makes $20 million no amount of world building will save it. Still, that doesn't seem to be in the cards for Diana, and the biggest gem of the DCEU might be right under the studio's nose.
Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action-adventure from director Patty Jenkins. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and is written by Allan Heinberg, Geoff Johns, and Zack Snyder. The film stars Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Robin Wright (General Antiope), Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta), David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis (Etta Candy), Danny Huston, Ewen Bremmer, Doutzen Kroes, Samantha Jo (Euboea), Florence Kasumba (Senator Acantha), Said Taghmaoui, Eleanor Matsuura (Epione), Emily Carey (Young Diana), and Lisa Loven Kongsli (Menalippe).
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017.