Wonder Woman Breaks Records at Box Office

“Wonder Woman” Delivers Wonderful Debut


June 2-4, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Wonder Woman  $100.5 million
Captain Underpants  $23.5 million
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
$21.6 million
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  $9.7 million
Baywatch  $8.5 million

Amidst all the online anger, negativity and skepticism, Wonder Woman delivered a record-setting debut. The DC property – and first time this character has had its own film on the big screen – opened with an estimated $100.5 million. While that's not as big as any of the other DC Extended Universe films, that's far and away the biggest debut by a female director ever, with a shot at the highest-grossing live-action movie by a female director as well. It also had much more positive critical and audience reaction than any of those films, which all ended up with more than $300 million (except Man of Steel, which came very close). With all the momentum, it's not clear exactly what its ceiling will be, but this is definitely one of 2016's biggest success stories.

Captain Underpants – which bears the presumptive subtitle The First Epic Movie – took a respectable No. 2 (pun intended). Its $23.5 million isn't the world-beater of a Pixar movie or a surprise hit like The Secret Life of Pets, but it's unlikely to be as expensive as some of the bigger animated titles, so home video is likely where it will make the most money.

That was still more than enough to send the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film to third place. It's not going to even sniff the underperforming On Stranger Tides, though it's already over half a billion dollars worldwide. Guardians of the Galaxy closed out a month in the top five, with more than $355 million earned. Baywatch fell to No. 5, and like every comedy this year, has yet to cross $50 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Exception, another WWII espionage movie. It averaged $11,669 on its pair of screens.
  • Churchill, the first of two biopics we'll get this year about the British Prime Minister, failed to ignite interest. Despite a major turn from Brian Cox, the film couldn't even top half a million dollars on 200+ screens.
  • It was a good week for female directors on the indie scene as well. The rom-com Band Aid averaged $10,500 on its three screens.

Next week:

The Mummy tries to kick off Universal's Dark Universe, but I think it's not going to be the monster they hope. I think Tom Cruise is still probably good for $50 million, but that might not even be enough for No. 1. I think Wonder Woman holds shockingly well at $55 million.



About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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