Monday, June 12, 2017

Reel Facts & Opinions: WONDER WOMAN Wins Again

One of the most satisfying elements to the success of Patty Jenkins’ WONDER WOMAN film isn’t just that we finally have a very good adaptation of a DC Comics hero, or that the film may have single-handedly rescued the sputtering Warner Bros. franchise, but that its impressive box office haul thus far ($205 million domestically over two weeks) has earned a bragging right that no other superhero film since 2000 can lay claim to; WONDER WOMAN has the lowest 1st to 2nd week domestic drop (only 45%) of any superhero film in the modern era.

Typically, a blockbuster-designed film will open big and then see a significant drop in its numbers, either because of stiff competition or bad word-of-mouth; but with very good reviews and good word-on-the-street, WONDER WOMAN looks like it’ll continue to be a strong performer. What is very interesting about WONDER WOMAN’s consistent performance from week 1 to week 2 is that the highest drop belongs to its predecessor, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016), which dropped almost 70% (!) in its second week. This can be mind-boggling as DAWN OF JUSTICE not only featured two of the most iconic characters of all time (Batman and Superman), but it also had this very version of Wonder Woman in a supporting role.

How is it that DAWN OF JUSTICE and WONDER WOMAN can be on total opposite sides of the grid? The answer is simple; WONDER WOMAN is a good movie, and DAWN OF JUSTICE was not. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 93% of WONDER WOMAN’s reviews are marked positive, while DAWN OF JUSTICE sits at a lowly 27% approval rating. Even outside of professional critic circles, fans were unhappy with DAWN OF JUSTICE in the way it treated its characters and the muddled storytelling. It’s fair to say that fans, and critics have spoken and had a huge part to play in the massive drop for DAWN OF JUSTICE.

Meanwhile, WONDER WOMAN soars thanks to a faithful adaptation of the character which fans have embraced, and a commitment to simple, yet tried-and-true classic storytelling. Yes, WONDER WOMAN is the first female-fronted superhero film in 12 years which has brought in plenty of moms and daughters to the theatre who may not have shown up to see Batman and Superman play punch-out, and that does play a factor into the numbers, but is hard to believe that if WONDER WOMAN wasn’t any good, that it would perform this consistently. This Blogger has always said that if you want good reviews (and consequently, good box office), then make a good movie. Good, and great filmmaking can and will be rewarded, and just like a true hero should, WONDER WOMAN should inspire others to do better.


Read Reel Speak’s review on WONDER WOMAN (HERE), and the impact the film has had outside of the theatre (HERE).

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