The female-centric superhero film is one of the few Hollywood tentpoles to ever be directed by a woman; elsewhere, DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Captain Underpants’ targets younger tots.
Director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman — earning rapturous reviews — is expected to chase away the doldrums at the early summer box office with a North American debut of $95 million or more, according to pre-release tracking.
The female-centric tentpole likewise debuts in most major markets overseas, including China. Bullish box-office observers believe Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the marquee superhero and Amazonian princess Diana, will lasso well north of $100 million internationally. Warner Bros. is being more conservative and suggesting $65 million-$70 million domestically, considering tracking has been unreliable as of late.
But if tracking is right, Wonder Woman could land the biggest domestic opening ever for a female director, primarily because very few women have been given the chance to direct a Hollywood tentpole. It would also be a morale boost for Hollywood following the worst Memorial Day weekend in 18 years, thanks to a number of underperforming summer event pics.
Wonder Woman currently sports a stellar 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Warners and DC Entertainment needed a critical victory in the superhero space after Man of Steel (2013) and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) were largely snubbed by critics.
The film marks the first time Wonder Woman has gotten her own big-screen movie. (Gadot did appear in Dawn of Justice.)
Hollywood grew skittish about making female superhero films after both Catwoman (2004) and Elektra (2005) flopped. Wonder Woman languished for years in development before Jenkins was brought aboard to direct from a script by Allan Heinberg. The film opens as World War I pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and his plane crash on Themyscira, the island of the Amazons where Diana has been trained by her aunt, the great warrior (Robin Wright). Soon, Diana leaves the island to try and stop the war, marking the beginning of her transformation into Wonder Woman.
Superhero films generally skew male, but tracking for Wonder Woman suggests both sexes are equally as interested, or nearly, in seeing the movie, which cost $150 million to make and also stars Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and Elena Anaya.
The weekend’s other new offering, DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, is targeting younger tots. The animated movie is tracking to open in the $25 million range after costing a modest $38 million to produce.
Based on the popular book series, Captain Underpants tells the tale of two fourth-grade troublemakers, voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch), who hypnotize their mean principal (Ed Helms) into thinking he’s Captain Underpants, a hero from a comic book. The movie’s characters also include Professor Pippy P. Poopypants (Nick Kroll) and a school snitch named Melvin Sneedly (Jordan Peele).
Captain Underpants is the final DWA title Fox will release before Universal assumes marketing and distribution titles of all DWA movies.
SOURCE :Box Office