Wonder Woman 1984 Struggling At The International Box Office


A test case for Warner Bros.’ decision to launch its major titles on HBO Max next year before theaters, Wonder Woman 1984 has been attracting praise since appearing in overseas cinemas. However, it’s already looking like the box office numbers since its premiere aren’t great, and the movie could struggle to recoup its budget and marketing costs. Why, then, is this happening?

According to Variety, the Patty Jenkins-directed picture only took in $18.8 million in China this weekend, after its predecessor achieved a healthier $38 million. Indeed, Wonder Woman 1984 has so far only made $38.5 million outside the US, and the China numbers show that this valuable market is still in recovery mode as we head into 2021. Reports are now pessimistic about WW84 generating the $90.5 million from Chinese audiences that Wonder Woman saw, especially given the ongoing caution over public screenings.

More generally, audiences around the world aren’t rushing back to theaters, and despite being made available in 32 international territories over the weekend, the new DCEU title could only take $3.6 million in Taiwan, $1.7 million from Brazil, $2 million in Thailand, and $1.6 million in Japan and Mexico. Even with the positive reactions we’re seeing to the Gal Gadot-starring sequel, it seems that a combination of limited openings and COVID-19 measures mean that WB face the same headache as they did with Tenet in the summer.

Based on the disappointing performance of Wonder Woman 1984 so far, the decision to put it on HBO Max this Christmas Day before its US theatrical run could end up paying off if Warner Bros. can use the exposure to boost subscriptions to the platform. Of course, there’s also a risk that people will easily be able to pirate WW84 as soon as it debuts on streaming, meaning that the studio may be in for a tough 2021 if its much debated HBO Max strategy fails to bring in the revenues they’re hoping for.