Box Office: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Sputters in China, Grosses $38.5 Million Overseas
Diana Prince can beat the best cheetah, but she is not up to a global pandemic.
Wonder Woman 1984 opened over the weekend in China for less than a heroic $ 18.8 million and overseas for a disappointing $ 38.5 million. That's far less than the $ 38 million the first Wonder Woman made on its opening weekend in China, and likely means the follow-up will earn far less than the $ 90.5 million which her predecessor pulled out of the country during the course of its year. China is one of the few cinema markets where admissions showed signs of life during a public health disaster, but revenues across the country were still down 30%. "Wonder Woman 1984" wasn't the only blockbuster that stuttered hopefully. The Rescue, a Chinese action film, grossed nearly $ 36 million on the first weekend. That is way below the projections and could mean the film is losing money.
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"Wonder Woman 1984" was supposed to be one of the biggest releases of the holiday season, but with the coronavirus case on the rise, Warner Bros. has decided to debut the film in the US on HBO Max when it hits theaters on December 25th.
The rollout overseas is becoming more robust. The film opened in 32 foreign markets this weekend. "Wonder Woman 1984" raised $ 3.6 million in Taiwan, $ 2 million in Thailand, $ 1.7 million in Brazil, and $ 1.6 million in Mexico and Japan.
"Wonder Woman 1984" brings back Gal Gadot as the Amazonian warrior princess, with Patty Jenkins returning as director. The film follows Wonder Woman in the Reagan era as she battles Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), a businessman and Trump doppelganger.
The hope is that Wonder Woman 1984 debuts on the streaming service, causing a stir on HBO Max. Both HBO Max and Warner Bros are owned by AT&T, which is trying to break into the lucrative streaming market and fend off a challenge from Netflix. Warner Bros. recently announced that, in the face of the pandemic, it will release its entire 2021 movie, which includes tentpole favorites like "Dune" and "The Matrix 4" on HBO Max, while they open in theaters at the same time.
With 66% of cinemas closed in the US, new movies are struggling to sell tickets.
In North America, Sony's "Monster Hunter" debuted in first place for $ 2.2 million. The video game adaptation with Milla Jovovich and Ron Perlman cost $ 60 million and appears to be losing money in the cinema.
Universal's animated adventure "The Croods: A New Age" followed with $ 2 million ticket sales on its fourth weekend of release. The film has grossed $ 27 million in the United States and has made $ 84.5 million to date. It's practically a blockbuster in this market.
Another new release, Lionsgate's thriller "Fatale" starring Hilary Swank, started at a gritty $ 925,000 in 1,107 locations.
US cinemas are unlikely to reopen in the coming weeks as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. The few who are still in business expect “Wonder Woman 1984” and the newcomer colleagues “Promising Young Woman” and “News of the World” as salvation. However, the biggest competition for the Justice League member could be on the small screen where the Pixar film "Soul" debuts on Disney Plus that same day.
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