Warner Brothers, the subsidiary of the cash strapped $150 Billion in debt AT&T, last week released Wonder Woman 1984 to foreign markets. Despite some of the markets still being in limited states or recovering post lockdowns, many theaters across Asia, South America, and the Middle East remain open, allowing for a decent return on movie companies’ investment.
All hopes Wonder Woman 1984 would continue the strong sales trend established by the original movie died as the weekend box office closed at a mere $38.5 million according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Of said $38 million, $18.8 million came from the Chinese market, where its predecessor earned $90.5 million on opening weekend. Taiwanese markets pulled in $3.6 million, Thailand netted a measly $2 million, Brazil floundered at $1.7 million, and the movie earned a combined $1.6 million in Mexico and Japan.
To grasp how poorly this movie has done in Japan and in general. Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train as of last week has generated over $310 million worldwide. During its opening day, the movie grossed $11.3 million and went on to earn $44 million by the conclusion of its opening weekend. Demonstrating there is a continued demand for quality product in the region, despite Covid-19’s lockdowns’ economic impact.
Compounding the issue for Warner Brothers, Wonder Woman 1984 cost a whopping $200 million to produce. That isn’t factoring in advertisement costs, which typically is half of the production budget. Nor does it factor in the interest that has accrued on the loan taken out to produce the movie. A loan that could not be repaid as the film languished in storage after movie theaters were closed down.
Why the movie failed has been readily apparent for some time. Earlier reports coming out of Midnights Edge and other sources claimed early test screenings of the movie were a disaster. Resulting in a slew of reshoots to attempt to salvage the latest entry into a cinematic universe Warner Brothers has desperately tried to kick off.
Even setting aside what will likely be poor screenings owed to innate quality, the movie also has been proclaimed to tackle patriarchy and the orange man with the greatest hair in the history of hair, Donald Trump. Like the man or not, he has the support of half the US population rendering the movie out the door incredibly polarizing. Polarization and stigmatization that will now transfer to the broader cinematic universe and DC branding.
With AT&T being termination happy, this movie’s failure is unlikely to go unpunished, but if you own HBO Max, you can enjoy the cringe for free on Christmas. Or better yet, torture your in-laws with it on Christmas.