DCEU: Wonder Woman Set to Bomb at Box Office!!!!!111!!11!!!1!!

26 May

Nobody likes to sound like the crazy, foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist in the room. However, every once in a while, I think that everyone gets to that point. In this case, I’m just going to accept that at this moment, I’m the crazy sounding guy.

I recently came across an article which declared that Wonder Woman is projected to take in about $65 million in its opening weekend. To put this into perspective, Man of Steel brought in $116,619,362, Batman v Superman brought in $166,007,347 and Suicide Squad brought in $133,682,248.

The projected number sound very low, of course. However, a little more perspective tells us that the first Captain America movie brought in $65,058,524, Thor came in at $65,723,338, and more recently, Doctor Strange had an opening weekend of $85,058,311.

Why are all of these numbers important? For a couple of reasons.

When the projection for Wonder Woman came out, there were a lot of headlines about how disappointing the movie is appearing to be. Another flop for DC. Time to start over… Y’know, more of what we see every time a DCEU film is released.

Buzz for the movie has been overwhelmingly positive. Early reactions from pre-release screenings are enthusiastically good, and most people that I’ve seen around the internet have an interest in seeing the film (I do run in geeky circles, so take that as you will). There is no reason to think that the movie is going to bomb at this point.

When people say that DC is failing with their movies, they’re talking about the critics, for the most part. Batman v Superman has a 28% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Suicide Squad comes in at 25%. These numbers are half of what the average general audience ratings are on that same site. Obviously, the films are still divisive among the general audience, but the critic scores don’t make much sense. This is especially true when you consider the critic scores of some of the more recent (kinda not great) Marvel movies, Doctor Strange (90%), Civil War (90%) and Age of Ultron (75%). Taking us out of the comic book movie realm, the recent Ghostbusters movie has a 75% fresh ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 53% from the general audience.

There are many variables to consider here. The Marvel movies tend to be more family-friendly. They’re lighter than the DC movies, so they have a wider audience that gets to sit back, relax and watch pretty computer-generated pictures on a screen for two hours. They’re newer characters to most people who don’t read comic books. They sometimes get released in countries that the DC movies don’t… There are reasons why the Marvel movies reach an audience. I’m not taking anything away from what they’ve done. Good for Marvel! I even liked Iron Fist!

For me, the issue is that I find the reviews, and overall tone of related articles to be really suspicious when it comes to DC movies. Is it because Disney owns the world? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just because the DC movies are more comic-booky and less like Saturday morning cartoons, thus making them less accessible to people who grew up with these characters on TV screens.

The thing is, DC isn’t failing with their movies. They have made tons of money. They have generated tons of buzz, which has kept the internet talking about Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad long after their releases. The audience has had mixed reactions, which is par for the course when it comes to comic book stories.

As far as the media is concerned, these movies should be considered pretty substantial success stories. Hell, I couldn’t even believe that Suicide Squad was being made at first, because I thought its appeal would be limited to die-hard comic book fans who actually knew who these characters were. I thought it would be a fun little side project, but probably wouldn’t make much money. I certainly never expected it to make $745,600,054, despite not being released in China (which is a major market for these movies. It gave Doctor Strange about $100 million, for example).

There is no reason to perpetuate the idea that the DC movies aren’t making money, or that they’ve failed to attract an audience. This is a great discussion for the general audience to have, but as far as the media is concerned, the critics should be eating crow.

So, what do I think will realistically happen with Wonder Woman?

I think that the critics are probably going to go a little easier on this one than they did with BvS or Suicide Squad. I think that Wonder Woman is familiar to them, while not as familiar as Batman or Superman. This puts her in a position similar to some of the Marvel characters that the critics love. Those critics probably had no idea what to do with Suicide Squad.

Also, she’s the first female lead in one of these movies. It’s sad to say, but the critics kinda have to celebrate that fact, or they risk giving people the impression that they don’t think that a woman can carry a film like this (which is what Disney/Marvel must think, because the first female lead in their camp will be Captain Marvel, eleven years, and twenty-one movies later). I think they’ll say that it’s the best of the DC movies so far, but I’m sure that they’ll slip in some jabs at the DC movies as well.

And I say this without having any idea how good the movie actually is. I just don’t think that little details like the actual movie really matter to the critics anymore.

I think that Wonder Woman could bring in well over $100 million during its opening weekend, but I don’t think that it will be the biggest DC movie to date. I definitely don’t expect it to make $100 million less than Suicide Squad. If I had to guess, I’d put it somewhere between Suicide Squad and BvS. However, even if it makes a billion dollars in its opening weekend, I’d expect the headlines to be about how disappointing the numbers were.

Globally, I’m not sure that Wonder Woman will do as well as some comic book movies. While I don’t think that the female lead will hurt the movie in the US or similar countries, I think that it could be an issue in other areas of the world. The movie will probably not make $1 billion.

If DC/Warner Bros. did their jobs right, the fans will be divided. Those less familiar with Diana’s origin story will probably cringe a little (depending on which origin they go with). Comic book fans will probably have other issues that they disagree on. In other words, it will be a normal (though very successful by box office standards) movie.

 

Feel free to disagree. Leave a comment and tell me what I got wrong.

Then click on this link and head on over to Amazon, so you can check out some of the books that I’ve written. I have a little something for everyone, from dystopian action to supernatural drama. Take a look!

 

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