We spent most of the summer in awe of the success that was Wonder Woman. It became the best-reviewed movie of DC's extended universe and broke numerous box office records. At least, it did domestically. However, when viewed on a global scale, it turns out that Wonder Woman is actually one of the worst performing superhero movies in years.
In North America, Wonder Woman was the highest grossing movie of the summer, and it currently sits as the number two movie of the year. However, when we look at the global box office the numbers are very different. Wonder Woman isn't even the highest grossing comic book movie of the year, as both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming outperformed it thanks to their foreign box office.
A comparison of Wonder Woman's performance to that of Spider-Man: Homecoming done by Forbes shows that in numerous countries in Europe and Asia, Homecoming made a higher percentage of its total overseas than Wonder Woman did. In some cases the discrepancy is significant. In South Korea, Spider-Man made 6% of its total, while Wonder Woman did less than 2%. In most countries, the difference is less than 1%, but obviously, those differences added up to millions of dollars around the world.
These days, you can expect a movie to make two-thirds or even three-quarters of its box office total from foreign markets. However, Wonder Woman only did half its business there. Part of that is because the movie was so strongly embraced in the US, but it had been embraced as strongly everywhere else, that difference would have held up.
Of course, the question becomes, why were things so different for Wonder Woman than they have been for most other superhero movies? There likely isn't a single answer to the question. The gender issue and the fact that Wonder Woman is the rare female-led superhero movie could have been an issue to some degree, but then it doesn't explain the success the film saw elsewhere. Some countries in the Middle East actually tried to ban the movie in protest of Israeli born Gal Gadot, but the United Arab Emirates saw Wonder Woman do almost as well as Spider-Man: Homecoming, so that doesn't explain things entirely either.
The greater issue may simply be one of marketing. Warner Bros. is not responsible for any of the top 10 superhero movies overseas. Considering they have three of the biggest names in all of the genre, that's strange, to say the least. Perhaps other countries just didn't see Wonder Woman as a "must see" sort of movie, as it clearly was promoted here.
It will be interesting to see if this result repeats itself in a couple of years when Wonder Woman 2 comes out. Maybe this is just an anomaly, or maybe there's something deeper about all these different cultures and the way we all viewed this character.