Welcome to the upside-down pandemic world of Hollywood, where the definition of a box-office success is being redefined by COVID-19.
This is certainly the case with “Wonder Woman 1984”, which debuted Christmas Day in theatres and on HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s streaming service.
According to a press release from WarnerMedia, the sequel to “Wonder Woman” brought in a worldwide box office of $85 million, including $16.7 million domestically. While that number would be seen as disastrous in normal circumstances, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic it’s a big enough hit for Warner Bros. to greenlight another sequel.
“Today, Warner Bros. Pictures announced that it will fast-track development on the third instalment of the ‘Wonder Woman’ franchise to be written by Patty Jenkins, who is attached to direct, and starring Gal Gadot,” the studio announced on Sunday.
“‘Wonder Woman 1984’ easily conquered the holiday weekend, exceeding box office projections as the top post-pandemic domestic opening weekend for any feature film this year, with $16.7 million in box office. ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ took in an estimated $36.1 million globally from 42 markets in release this weekend (including U.S. and Canada). This takes the international running cume to $68.3 million, and the worldwide tally to $85 million,” the statement continued.
“As fans around the world continue to embrace Diana Prince, driving the strong opening weekend performance of ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, we are excited to be able continue her story with our real life Wonder Women — Gal and Patty — who will return to conclude the long-planned theatrical trilogy,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
In addition to box office figures, the press release also revealed that nearly half of HBO Max subscribers viewed the film on the day of its release (in Canada, “Wonder Woman 1984” was released theatrically and via VOD, where it can be purchased for $30).
“’Wonder Woman 1984′ broke records and exceeded our expectations across all of our key viewing and subscriber metrics in its first 24 hours on the service, and the interest and momentum we’re seeing indicates this will likely continue well beyond the weekend,” said Andy Forssell, executive vice president and general manager, WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer. “During these very difficult times, it was nice to give families the option of enjoying this uplifting film at home, where theatre viewing wasn’t an option.”
Meanwhile, “Wonder Woman 1984” delivered a strong theatrical performance in Canada, where only 5% of theatres (representing 3% of the total Canadian box office) are open; Canadian VOD orders generated an additional $4 million.