For a multitude of reasons, modern movies almost always make much less money in their second weekend, but you can actually tell a lot by the degree of that fall-off. While there are many different factors involved, the most significant being new competition, a film dropping off 60 percent or more is a sharp indicator of bad buzz and word of mouth; and managing to drop less than 50 percent has become an impressive feat. It's for this reason that what Wonder Woman did at the box office this weekend is worth writing about, as estimates pin it at only a 44.6 percent drop.
After destroying all estimates with a $103 million take last week, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman added another $57 million to its domestic haul this weekend - bringing its U.S. total so far up to $205 million (worldwide it has made $435 million on its reported $149 million pre-advertising budget). The drop is significant because it's actually the best performer in this department among Marvel and DC movies since 2010, with only really 2011's Thor (which dropped 47.2 percent) being comparable.
Within the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman's performance is actually a particularly important alteration in what has been a really bad pattern. With the exception of Patty Jenkins' movie, every other title in the franchise thus far has really suffered in its second week, including Man of Steel (64.6 percent), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (69.1 percent), and Suicide Squad (67.4 percent). So what changed? It's not hard to make the argument that professional reviews had a hand in the performance. While negative marks made the first three DCEU titles unattractive to audiences who weren't invested enough to go see them the first week, the positive buzz surrounding Wonder Woman has clearly allowed it to sustain itself as a draw.
As far as second week performance goes, Wonder Woman's success is arguably the second great example that we've seen so far in 2017. The first was M. Night Shyamalan's Split, which rode a combination of good reviews and a tantalizing twist to an astonishing 35.9 percent drop-off when it landed in January. It's a nice thing to see during an age when there are so many distractions from the big screen, and teaches studios a lesson that, frankly, should be really obvious: if you make good movies, people will turn up.
Right now, Wonder Woman is still the lowest grossing film in the DC Extended Universe - but we are naturally very curious to see how those rankings change as we progress through the rest of June. Worldwide, the movie still stands more than $200 million behind the number three-ranked Man of Steel, but Wonder Woman only needs $86 million more to topple the Zack Snyder blockbuster domestically. After that, could it hit Suicide Squad's $325 million? Stay tuned, and we'll let you know as soon as we know!