Despite the simultaneous premiere via streaming service, Wonder Woman made the best box office debut of the pandemic on Sunday in 1984, according to studio estimates, opening at $ 16.7 million on the Christmas weekend. That’s just a faint glimmer of typical business during the holiday season, when the movie theaters are usually full and the receipts are among the best of the year. Last year, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker topped $ 32 million on Christmas Day alone. According to data firm Comscore, 35% of North American theaters are currently open. Even so, Warner Bros. celebrated the 1984 performance of Wonder Woman, which hit 2,150 theaters and improved the Warner Bros. launch worth around $ 10 million. ‘
Teaching in North America. (The Croods: A New Age of Universal Pictures also opened in late November.) Wonder Woman 1984 grossed an additional $ 19.4 million in international markets that it started playing a week earlier. The sequel starring Gal Gadot, directed by Patty Jenkins, has earned $ 85 million worldwide to date. “This is a very poor theatrical opening,” said David Gross, who heads the film consultancy FranchiseRe. “With more than half of North American theaters closed and the pandemic escalating, the majority of moviegoers and fans have no choice but to watch the movie on TV. The early overseas openings were also weak. “
Warner Bros. has been criticized across Hollywood for its plans to redirect Wonder Woman 1984 and all of its 2021 titles to HBO Max through a hybrid release plan to empower subscribers. Principal director Christopher Nolan called the strategy “a mess”. Earlier this month, AT&T CEO John Stankey said the service had 12.6 million activated users, up from 8.6 million as of September 30th. In 2017, Wonder Woman opened with ticket sales of more than $ 100 million in 4,100 theaters, setting the record for the largest to be opened by a filmmaker. Ultimately, it grossed $ 822 million worldwide.
The sequel, which was made for about $ 200 million, should be worth $ 1 billion at a box office prior to the pandemic, but is expected to bring in about $ 180 million, according to Gross’ forecasts. However, WarnerMedia is betting that Wonder Woman will be more significant to HBO Max in 1984, which wobbled when it was first introduced. Over the weekend, reports were circulated of some users having technical difficulties streaming Wonder Woman 1984, especially when playing the movie through Roku. HBO Max went live on Roku in mid-December after months of negotiations.
Warner Bros., however, used the 1984 returns for Wonder Woman as the best that could be expected given the circumstances. The studio announced on Sunday that it would be speeding up a third Wonder Woman film, with Jenkins and Gadot returning. “Wonder Woman 1984 broke records in the first 24 hours of service and exceeded our expectations for all major ad and subscriber metrics. The interest and momentum we’re seeing suggest this is likely well beyond the weekend will continue, “said Andy Forssell, executive vice president and general manager, direct sales for WarnerMedia. “In these very difficult times, it was nice to be able to give families the opportunity to enjoy this uplifting movie at home where going to the theater wasn’t an option.” Wonder Woman 1984 wasn’t the only big movie that hit homes over Christmas.
The Walt Disney Co. steered the latest Pixar release, Soul, to Disney +. It opened in theaters in some international markets, particularly China, where it grossed $ 5.5 million. No streaming numbers were provided for Soul or Wonder Woman 1984. WarnerMedia said nearly half of HBO Max’s subscribers saw Wonder Woman on their first day on the streaming platform in 1984, although it didn’t say how long a watch lasted.
Universal Pictures also released News of the World, a western starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass, in theaters only. Comcast’s own studio took a different approach during the pandemic, cutting contracts with exhibitors to radically cut the exclusive movie theater window down to just 17 days before moving films to premium video-on-demand. News of the World grossed an estimated $ 2.4 million domestically. Emerald Fennell’s acclaimed up-and-coming young woman with Carey Mulligan debuted in 1,300 theaters and made $ 680,000 for Focus Features.