Trying to gauge the success of Wonder Woman 1984 is proving a lot more difficult than usual given the circumstances surrounding the superhero sequel’s release. Diana Prince’s second solo outing may have scored the biggest opening weekend at the domestic box office since March, but by any metrics, $16.7 million isn’t going to recoup a budget of $200 million, especially when the movie’s international performance hasn’t been great, either, with just over $68 million in the coffers after two weeks.
Wonder Woman 1984 will have no doubt resulted in a massive surge in HBO Max subscriber numbers, but the streaming service is only available in the United States, so it seems very unlikely that the latest installment in the DCEU is going to come anywhere close to turning a substantial profit for Warner Bros.
Of course, it hasn’t helped that the reactions have been incredibly polarized, too. Many are praising the visual aesthetic and the pervasive optimism running through the narrative, but there’ve also been some serious criticisms over the myriad of huge plot holes and the questionable storytelling device used to bring back Steve Trevor, which gets weirder the more you think about it.
The studio may have fast-tracked Wonder Woman 3 into development just two days after 1984 was released, but insider Daniel Richtman now claims that the higher-ups are pushing for Jenkins and Gadot to change things up a bit and make the next one more like Aquaman and similar to a “big fantasy movie,” which is a pretty vague descriptor but also gives you a good idea of what the executives are reportedly after.
Aquaman was big, loud, stupid, cheesy escapist entertainment, with James Wan’s refusal to take anything too seriously ultimately benefiting the film, and while Wonder Woman 1984 is most definitely an epic fantasy played out on a huge scale, if Richtman’s word is to be taken at face value, it clearly didn’t tick all of the boxes for Warner Bros.