Critically acclaimed ‘Wonder Woman’ surpasses expectations with $100 million opening

GAL GADOT as Diana in the action adventure “WONDER WOMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Clay Enos/ TM & © DC Comics)

Weekend Box Office for June 2-4, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Early projections had “Wonder Woman” finishing the weekend with $90 million, but an impressive $11 million from Thursday’s limited screenings pushed those projections up to $95 million. I desperately wanted to see the film hit $100 million, with hopes that the worldwide total for the opening weekend would exceed $200 million.

Mission accomplished as Warner Bros. is projecting that “Wonder Woman” will earn $100.5 million domestically over its first weekend and an additional $122.5 million from international markets for a total of $223 million. So much for the idea that no one wants to see a female-led superhero movie.

Critics have been enthusiastic about the film; Rotten Tomatoes has the film sitting at 93 percent fresh and the Metacritic score rests comfortably at 76. According to CimemaScore, audiences have been equally impressed and have awarded the film an “A” grade.

The film’s success also gives director Patty Jenkins the largest opening for a film directed by a female. The previous record holder, Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” made $85.1 million in its debut weekend.

In second place is “Captain Underpants,” the latest film from DreamWorks Animation, with $23.5 million. I haven’t had the opportunity to see the movie yet, but strong reviews from critics and a “B+” from audiences polled by CinemaScore suggest that I’ll be seeing it sooner, rather than waiting for it to arrive on Blu-ray.

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In third place is “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with $21.6 million. That’s a harsh drop of 65 percent from last week’s numbers. That pushes the film close to $115 million domestically. The silver lining here is that the film is doing extremely well overseas and its worldwide total is a healthy $501 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” takes fourth place with $9.7 million this weekend. Its worldwide total is $816.5 million. That’s well ahead of the original film’s final total of $773 million, but expectations were much higher for the sequel and many expected the movie to reach the $1 billion mark. That doesn’t look possible at this point.

Rounding out the top five is “Baywatch” with $8.5 million. Its domestic total is $42.7 million, well short of its budget of $69 million and that doesn’t include the promotional expenses.