Ordinarily, a blockbuster sequel that only opens 16% of the original's first weekend would be a disaster. Not this year.
Warner Bros. reports a gross domestic product of 16.7 million US dollars for "Wonder Woman 1984" on the three-day holiday weekend. This is definitely the biggest gross weekend since the theaters reopened ("Tenet" earned almost 10 million US dollars in about a third more theaters).
It is also almost impossible to judge in context. Patty Jenkins & # 39; first DC Comics movie, which opened worldwide in May 2017, grossed $ 100 million in the first weekend. The last time Christmas fell on Friday (for maximum weekend environment to flourish), The Force Awakens raised $ 149 million on the second weekend. Last year, with the public holiday on Wednesday, The Rise of Skywalker raised $ 72 million over three days on its second weekend. In both cases they had twice the number of theaters.
Less than 40 percent of theaters are open, with those making up a better proportion of the potential gross, with industry sources suggesting around 55 percent of the potential gross. Does that extrapolate to a potential of $ 30 million or better if everything had been open? If so, that would be a positive number combined with home availability.
How much of the public would oppose the reservations even if all the theaters were open? And how much does this help when, in contrast to normal Christmas, when several top entries are played simultaneously, there is so little competition?
The number says that despite the competition for the home view on HBO Max, around two million people set out for "Wonder Woman 1984". That seems like a positive sign. But for whom exactly?
At this strangest Christmas, it's hard to decide which one would be better for theater. Is it good (relative to the obstacles to the audience) if it is also available to the home audience? Or would poor performance have proven Warner Bros. made a mistake? And how is it all defined? Analysis can sometimes lead to the conclusion that we don't really know yet.
Anecdotes indicate a good, but not good, initial reaction from the audience. The B + CinemaScore is considered cheap at the lower end of the industry. The film from 2017 has now received an A. Twitter is hardly a reliable measure, but the initial reaction tended to have a negative impact, including from those who say they loved the earlier film.
As for the HBO Max game, which is virtually free compared to customers paying $ 9-10 or more in theaters, there are no verified reports on how many of its 12-plus million-plus subscribers, Wonder Woman 1984 "have viewed. But I think it was extensive and probably before those who went to the theater. Pixar's "Soul" (Disney +) also debuted this weekend, but only as a streaming, with no theater going on.
"Wonder Woman" was available in 200 locations, more than the second largest film, "News of the World". This is due to the standout attraction it has over other titles, but it also indicates that the studio has taken up some locations that they would not normally have. This includes pop-up drive-ins, either in parking lots of closed indoor theaters, some of which remain active apart from existing ones.
One thing we can't judge is some nuances of film performance. This is thanks to Warner Bros.'s corporate decision not only to withhold normal industry coverage of most daily earnings, but also the way it is conveyed to the media and the public.
They started with this instinct for “Tenet” and accused that possible negative misinterpretations could have been a bad advertisement for the reopening of the theaters. It was doubtful then, more today. Since then, several studios have released new films, and all but Warners and Sony have stuck to the norms. This denies important detailed information that exhibitors, competing studios, investors, media and those interested in the public could use.
Meanwhile, Warners announced that in their words they were "speeding up" the development of a third Wonder Woman. Whether this matters, or trying to attract positive attention, or somewhere in between, is unclear.
Wonder Woman made up over 60 percent of all business that weekend. However, three other wide open (none with instant home screenings) doing so little business take away the encouraging signs from the DC comic film.
The best of them is News of the World (Universal) with $ 2.4 million in 1,900 theaters. That's less than $ 1,300 per theater. This average is worse than that of “Cats” last year on the second weekend. This adult-oriented one with Tom Hanks, positive reviews and some potential awards, but still mostly shows a lack of interest.
"Promising Young Woman" (Focus) also received good reviews, with a younger, edgier pull in its gritty comic book story of female revenge. Only $ 680,000 was grossed in 1,310 cinemas. That's little more than $ 500 per theater. According to normal Universal / Focus practice, both Promising and News are expected to have PVOD availability in January. This visibility should therefore help both.
The Italian (although dubbed in English) live action "Pinocchio" (Roadside Attractions) starring Roberto Benigni was in seventh place at just $ 274,000 in 764 cinemas. "The Croods: A New Age" (Universal) is more successful with the family audience in third place with 1,730,000 US dollars, although the strong presence at PVOD is continued. The DreamWorks Animation title surpassed $ 30 million in domestic box office sales.
Do the apparently respectable depictions of "Wonder Woman" and "Croods" in the day and date game suggest coexistence in the future? Theaters have little choice (although they are likely to be Warner-resistant on at least some titles), but the key question is how the studios view this. So far, it is still too early to hit a pivotal case of what works best in a post-COVID world.
The top 10
1. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B +; Metacritical: 59; European summer time. Budget: $ 200 million; also available on HBO max
$ 16,700,000 in 2,151 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $ 7,764; Accumulated: $ 16,700,000
2. World news (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: B +; Metacritical: 78
$ 2,400,000 in 1,900 theaters; PTA: $ 1,263; Accumulated: $ 2,400,000
3. The Croods: A New Age (Universal) week 5; Last weekend # 2; also available on Premium VOD
$ 1,730,000 (-17%) in 1,726 theaters ($ 180); PTA: USD 1,002; Accumulated: USD 30,347,000
4. Monster Hunter (Sony) week 2; Last weekend # 1
$ 1,125,000 (-49%) in 1,817 theaters (+81); PTA: USD 619; Accumulated: $ 4,216,000
5. Promising young woman (Focus) NEW – Cinemascore: B +; Metacritical: 71
$ 680,000 in 1,310 theaters; PTA: USD 519; Cumulative: 680,000 USD
6. Fatal (Lionsgate) week 2; Last weekend # 3
$ 660,000 (-28%) in 1,168 theaters (+61); PTA: $ 565; Cumulative: 1,961,000 USD
7. Pinocchio (Roadside attractions) NEW – Metacritical: 63; European summer time. Budget: $ 13 million
$ 274,605 in 764 theaters; PTA: $ 359; Cumulative: $ 274,605
8. Eleven (Warner Bros.) REISSUE; last weekend # 4
$ 110,000 (-70%) in 257 theaters (-298); PTA: USD 214; Cumulative: $ 267,500,000 (adjusted)
9. The war with grandpa (101) week 12; Last weekend # 8; also available on Premium VOD
$ 90,882 (-47%) in 515 theaters (-288 USD); PTA: $ 176; Accumulated: $ 18,446,000
10. National Lampoon Christmas Vacation (Warner Bros.) REISSUE; last weekend # 9
$ 85,000 (-49%) in 223 theaters (-264); PTA: USD 381; Cumulative: $ 168.8 million (adjusted)