In a matter of weeks we’ll know exactly where Wonder Woman stands among all superhero movies at the domestic box office, all-time.
How does Top 5 sound?
While cracking the top 4 is too tall an order, Wonder Woman currently at No. 8 has a shot at that No. 5 spot, overtaking Iron Man 3 and settling in behind The Dark Knight Rises.
But Diana is going to have to sustain the fight, and will need one more rally to win it.
Here’s where things currently stand, per our friends at comScore:
Marvel’s The Avengers: $623.4 million
The Dark Knight: $544.3 million
Avengers: Age of Ultron: $459 million
The Dark Knight Rises: $448 million
Iron Man 3: $409 million
Captain America: Civil War: $408 million
Spider-Man (2002): $403.7 million
Wonder Woman: $399.5 million
Wonder Woman has now played in North American theaters for nine full weeks (plus this weekend), making $7.5 million in its eighth week and another $5.5 million in Week 9. To put that in perspective, only one other superhero film indisputable superhero box office champ Marvel’s The Avengers had better weeks 8-9, with $10.8 million and $6.9 million.
Most other cape-and-cowl capers lost all their powers that late into their runs, and were soon out of theaters. DCEU counterparts Batman v Superman made $737,776 in weeks 8 and 9, while Man of Steel made $716,840. Just a few weeks later, they were gone.
It’s going to be close, and it’s going to take a rally
The numbers Wonder Woman is generating at this stage are a monument to its quality, staying power, and the absolute cultural necessity of female superheroes. Wonder Woman opened to $103 million on May 2 solid, though considerably less than any of the films that now stand in front of it but has since burned far hotter and longer than all but Avengers. Not even The Dark Knight, which played for a staggering 33 weeks in theaters, had better 8 and 9 frames ($7.18 million and $5.3 million).
But back to our question: Will that long-term and repeat business be enough to catapult Wonder Woman into the Top 5?
As long as Warner Bros. keeps Wonder Woman in theaters for as long as similarly strong-performing DC films like The Dark Knight Rises (21 weeks), maybe. It’s going to be close.
The average week-over-week drop for Wonder Woman has been almost exactly 33% this past week only 30% and shows no signs of slowing from that pace. I predict it will play that way for 12 more weeks giving it 21 total, exactly as many as The Dark Knight Rises, one less than The Avengers and closing down for good just before Thanksgiving holiday titles hit.
Assuming a 1/3 drop for each week until then, here’s how that plays out, starting with the estimated $5,242,373 from Week 9:
Week 10: $3,494,915
Week 11: $2,329,943
Week 12: $1,553,295
Week 13: $1,035,530
Week 14: $690,353
Week 15: $460,235
Week 16: $306,823
Week 17: $204,549
Week 18: $136,366
Week 19: $90,910
Week 20: $60,607
Week 21: $40,404
Add that to Wonder Woman‘s $397,146,079 gross (before this weekend’s estimated $2.3 million, which will be included in the Week 10 total), and you’ve got …
… $407.5 million.
Good enough for No. 7, just behind Captain America: Civil War.
I did, and that means somewhere down the line, Wonder Woman will need a little help to take out Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War (which sits at $408 million).
Never fear these superhero studios always stage one last big theater bump-up at the end of long-running hits, which The Dark Knight did in weeks 18 and 28 (for an extra $1.56 million) and The Avengers did too, going large in its 18th week (a $2.7 million bonus).
Wonder Woman is a phenomenon that could benefit from a lack of massive August competition
No doubt Warner Bros. will boost up a similar last-chance-to-see-it effort in the coming weeks, especially with Justice League right on Wonder Woman‘s heels on Nov. 17. And the response should be juuuuuust enough let’s say $1.6 million, for $409.1 million domestic ultimate to get Wonder Woman across enemy lines and into that hallowed Top 5.
ComScore box-office whisperer Paul Dergarabedian is more bullish than I am; he’s thinking Wonder Woman can clean up in the late-summer movie wasteland.
“Now Wonder Woman is a phenomenon that could benefit from a lack of massive August competition and who knows, maybe she could rustle up another $15 million, putting her at $411 million-plus,” he told me. “But anything could happen!”
That’s true. Anything could happen. Like, someone could start a #Top5forWonderWoman campaign to get people out to support it one more time.
Because Top 5 superhero movie of all time has a nice ring to it, right?