Of the course the big question is how would Warner Bros/DC’s “Wonder Woman” performed this weekend. Original estimates low-balled the film’s potential with around $65 million as an average prediction, which would’ve been a disappointment, especially considering the film’s reported budget of around $150 million. Those estimates were suspicious anyway, and more likely based on the perception that a female-driven superhero movie wouldn’t be of as much interest to audiences – especially men.
Well, not surprisingly, those early estimates were way off. The film surpassed predictions, grossing $100 million this weekend, and another $122.5 million internationally. This should be sad news for those crybaby guys who are still uncomfortable with the idea of female-led superhero movies. There were even some very insecure men who actually filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination in response to the women only advance screenings of the movie.
Looking ahead, this makes me wonder if a similar thing will happen when “Black Panther” comes out next year. Will white guys file suits and scream about discrimination if there are any all-black audience advance screenings of the film? I sure hope so.
But there was another controversy this weekend, revolving around Paramount’s reaction to last week’s dismal box office performance of “Baywatch”, which dropped some 54%, coming in fifth place with $8.5 million, and $41 million total so far. The film opened way below their projections and studio reps publicly blamed bad critical reviews for the film’s poor performance.
In other words, “if those critics hadn’t written all those awful things about our movie, then all those suckers would not have stayed away, and wouldn’t instead gone to the theater to discover for themselves just how bad film really is. Of course it’s all hypocrisy. If the film had done well, then the studio would have been boasting about how the critics don’t matter. And if the reviews had been good, but the film had still flopped at the box office, they would’ve likely put the blame on the marketing or the timing or something else.
In fact, Paramount reps said that the reviews were so unfair that they were considering either barring all critics from future film screenings until the day any of their films is released, or maybe not screen any films to the media at all for the foreseeable future. Yeah, sure. First of all, studios have often refused to screen their worst films for the media because they don’t want early negative reviews to hurt the film.
In fact, Paramount held up media screenings for “Baywatch” until the very last minute, likely because they knew they had a real stinker on their hands. Film critics have always been an easy scapegoat for studios to put the blame on when a lousy film tanks at the box office. Of course, those same studios can’t wait to hold multiple screenings for good films, and especially for those films that are considered to be real Oscar contenders, like Paramount will be doing with Alexander Payne’s satire “Downsizing” and George Clooney’s period suspense thriller “Suburbicon”, both of which the studio will be releasing later this fall.
In a very distant second place was the family animated film “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” based on the very popular series of children’s book, which got some very good reviews. But it couldn’t compete against the anticipation of “Wonder Woman” and came in way behind, with $23.5 million.
However, two other major films besides “Baywatch” suffered huge drop-offs: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” went from No.1 to third place this weekend, with a staggering 65% drop, earning $21.6 million for the weekend, and $114.6 million domestically so far. However, once again showing the strength of the foreign market, the film has made just over half a billion dollars or $501.2 million worldwide, with China and Russia leading the way.
The second film that suffered a major drop-off is “Alien: Covenant” which fell sharply for the second weekend in a row, dropping another 62% from last week, earning $67 million total domestically. The film could now be officially considered one of the big flops of the summer season along with “Baywatch” and “King Arthur”. And there’s a good chance that next week’s “was-anyone-asking-for-this?” reboot of “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise, could join the growing list of big summer flops of 2017. We’ll see.
This weekend’s top 12 grossing films below:
1) Wonder Woman WB $100,505,000
2) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Fox $23,500,000
3) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales BV $21,613,000 Total: $114,621,771
4) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 BV $9,733,000 Total: $355,474,332
5) Baywatch Par. $8,500,000 Total: $41,724,438
6) Alien: Covenant Fox $4,000,000 Total: $67,219,484
7) Everything, Everything WB $3,320,000 Total: $28,301,587
8) Snatched Fox $1,340,000 Total: $43,868,414
9) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Fox $1,220,000 Total: $17,824,604
10) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword WB $1,170,000 Total: $37,172,957
11) The Boss Baby Fox $635,000 Total: $170,935,564
12) Beauty and the Beast BV $620,000 Total: $502,098,471