In news that I don't think will surprise anyone, the critically acclaimed and fan-adored Wonder Woman has reached yet another milestone. On Thursday, the film hit $330.5 million in the domestic box office; following another strong weekend, the movie's domestic gross now stands at a whopping $346.6 million. Not only are these figures a staggering achievement, more than proving a female-led superhero franchise has all-star power, they also officially make Wonder Woman the highest-performing DCEU film at the domestic box office to date.
For the record, here are the domestic figures as they currently stand:
- Wonder Woman — $346.6 million
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — $330.4 million
- Suicide Squad — $325.1 million
- Man of Steel — $291 million
Warner Bros. will understandably be delighted by Wonder Woman's success.
But Was All The World Waiting For Wonder Woman After All?
It's worth noting, though, that Wonder Woman's global box office is still far short of the current DCEU record for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which grossed $873.3 million worldwide. Wonder Woman, in contrast, is currently standing at $708.4 million.
The reason for this is Wonder Woman's comparatively weaker performance in the foreign box office. Currently, nearly half of Wonder Woman's global takings are from the domestic market (48.9%). That contrasts sharply with the other instalments in the DCEU to date, where domestic has typically made up about 40% of a film's worldwide total. It's an intriguing detail, suggesting that Wonder Woman is resonating better with US fans than it is worldwide.
It's not yet clear why that's the case. One thing that's almost certainly not to blame, though, is the fact that a handful of countries have banned Wonder Woman due to Gal Gadot's political and ethnic background. While that will have made a small dent in the movie's performance, none of the film markets affected are particularly large.
Will Wonder Woman Beat Batman V Superman?
With this surprisingly weaker international performance, there's now real debate over whether or not the film will become the top-earning DCEU movie worldwide. Can it break Batman v Superman's $873.3 million?
It's not inconceivable. After all, Wonder Woman has smashed the DCEU's domestic record after only four weeks in theaters; Batman v Superman accrued $873.3 million over a full 12-week run. Wonder Woman does face a real challenge, though; this week sees the release of Marvel and Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming, sure to take the top spot in both the domestic and foreign markets. Although the films are very different, there's a sense in which they're competing for a similar market. Wonder Woman was, until now, a relatively untested brand; Spider-Man is literally the biggest superhero brand of them all. What impact will Homecoming have on Wonder Woman's performance?
We don't have up-to-date figures, but back in 2013, The Licensing Letter gave us a sense of just how valuable a property Spider-Man is by looking at merchandise value. Notice the key variable here; the webbed wonder is actually bigger internationally than in the domestic market.
There's been no evidence these trends have changed; as a result, we'd expect Homecoming's impact in the foreign market to be more pronounced than in the domestic. The balance between Wonder Woman's foreign and domestic takings is already skewed, and the final figures could be even stranger.
Whatever the truth may be about the global box office, the reality is that Wonder Woman has just broken a domestic milestone for the DCEU. No longer can Hollywood insiders argue that female-led superhero films don't work; Wonder Woman has certainly proved otherwise. She can stand proud as the champion of the Justice League so far!