Hollywood can't stop marveling at the pure staying power of “Wonder Woman,” a movie that keeps exceeding expectations no matter how many challenges the box office keeps hurling at it.
The film, which stars Gal Gadot and was directed by Patty Jenkins, has made $750 million worldwide since it opened June 2 and has a chance to become the biggest hit of the summer purely on the strength of its endurance.
“The way Patty Jenkins has directed this, there's so much depth to it. You feel that somebody really loves this character and understands her dynamic, her point of view,” film industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian wrote on Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR).
Best Legs In Hollywood
The industry’s fascination with the film operates on several levels (nearly all of which have been covered by Forbes Scott Mendelson, who has written a column examining the flick virtually every day since it opened).
Typical blockbusters often fall by 60 percent or more after opening weekend; "Wonder Woman" fell a relatively unheard-of 43 percent its second weekend and only 29 percent on its third.
If it clears the $390 million mark domestically by the end of its run, which appears likely, it will have made 3.8 times the $103.3 million it earned its opening weekend in North America, one of the largest multipliers on record.
The Hollywood Reporter said its current multiplier of 3.6 is ahead of such milestone blockbusters as Sam Raimi’s "Spider-Man" from 2002 and Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” in 2008.
"It feels like Wonder Woman will play all the way through August," Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX), told the trade journal. "Right now, the movie is still in about 3,000 locations. Usually, the theater count would be a fraction of that at this point."
A Rare Win For The DC Universe
Warner has been trying to create a shared DC superhero universe like the one successfully launched by Marvel Studios, a division of Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS). But its first three installments - ”Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” - were critical flops that made most of their money the first couple weekends of release.
‘Wonder Woman" appears poised to top Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's" domestic take and has an outside shot of catching it internationally.
And as the top earner of all time for a movie directed solely by a woman, and the first critical and commercial success of a film about a female superhero, the movie shattered industry-entrenched stereotypes. As recently as 2014, Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter wrote that superheroines were box office poison.
It also helps that "Wonder Woman" is a good movie.
"When critics and audiences are on the same page, you can pretty much bet the box office will be supercharged for the long haul," box office analyst Jeff Bock told The Hollywood Reporter.
“‘Wonder Woman’ is also a vehicle of female empowerment, something we don't regularly see in the superhero genre, and that has made it a very unique property this summer."
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures Trailer, YouTube
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