Long Range Forecast: ‘Wonder Woman’ & ‘Captain Underpants’ Set for June Kickoff; ‘Fate of the Furious’ Still Tracking for $120M Launch

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This week’s edition of the Long Range Forecast takes a first look at the weekend of June 2, currently slated to see the release of the fourth film in the DC Extended Universe — Wonder Woman — and the next offering from DreamWorks Animation, Captain Underpants.

Wonder Woman
Warner Bros.

PROS:

  • As the first-ever modern female superhero film, that element alone is driving significant interest at this stage. Being a legacy character with generations’ worth of awareness doesn’t hurt, either. The potential for appeal beyond comic fans is high right now.
  • Twitter sentiment is currently registering more encouraging positive-to-negative scores in line with or slightly stronger than Suicide Squad two months out from release, a notable comparison given that film’s stronger-than-usual (for the genre) appeal to women.
  • Being distanced a full month between both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. and July’s Spider-Man: Homecoming should help prevent significant audience overlap.
  • The character’s introduction in Batman v Superman was one of the more well-received aspects of that film, giving this solo entry a positive head start. Early trailer reactions have likewise been generally positive among fans.

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, it’s probably only a matter of time before the lukewarm word of mouth from prior DCEU flicks catches up as collateral damage against upcoming films on their slate. Strong marketing and reviews would be key steps toward helping prevent this be the film that first occurs with.
  • Despite strong Twitter sentiment, the overall volume of mentions isn’t as massive as previous DC films. Likewise, Facebook fan growth pales in comparison to Suicide Squad at this stage.
  • Being sandwiched in between the opening weekends of Pirates of the Caribbean and June 9’s The Mummy may not be a death sentence, but missing out on Memorial Day weekend business makes the need for strong reviews and word of mouth even more pressing for Wonder Woman (especially with the inital buzz of Pirates‘ latest entry) after a crowded May.

Captain Underpants
Fox / DreamWorks

PROS:

  • Based on a popular children’s book series, families with kids too young for Wonder Woman and the existing films in the early summer market will have a strong option here.
  • As the first major studio animated film released in two months (following April’s Smurfs: The Lost Village), the target audience will be getting hungry for kiddie fare like this.
  • As films like The Boss Baby have recently shown, animated films remain among the most likely to buck tracking trends.

CONS:

  • Initial social media buzz is noticeably lacking. Although that isn’t particularly surprising given the target audience, it has a long way to go before reaching levels that would indicate breakout potential.
  • Even as the first major animated release of summer, it still has the challenge of facing Pixar’s Cars 3 two weeks later (and Despicable Me 3 at the end of the month). Families may opt to wait for either of those films instead.

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • The Fate of the Furious continues to track steadily between Furious 7 and Fast & Furious 6. Twitter mentions are comparable in volume — but not as positive in sentiment — when compared directly to the former of those two films.
  • The weekend of April 21 continues to be muddled. Our initial expectations for Free Fire are coming down due to the expectation that it may not open in as many theaters as once presumed. A24 has not released an estimated count as of this publishing.
  • Positive buzz out of the CinemaCon screening has increased optimism around Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘s chances for staying power. A domestic run similar to Men In Black 3 is increasingly likely at this stage, but overseas is where the film’s much larger potential lies.
  • UPDATE: Shortly following the original publication of this article, Spark was confirmed to no longer be a wide release. It has been removed from the forecast.

Check out our complete 8-week forecast in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
4/14/2017 The Fate of the Furious $118,000,000 $283,000,000 4,200 Universal
4/14/2017 Spark n/a n/a 350 Open Road
4/21/2017 Born in China $5,000,000 -9% $17,300,000 -9% 2,000 Disneynature
4/21/2017 Free Fire $3,500,000 -56% $11,000,000 -48% 700 A24
4/21/2017 Phoenix Forgotten n/a n/a n/a Cinelou Films
4/21/2017 The Promise $2,250,000 $4,500,000 13% 1,500 Open Road Films
4/21/2017 Unforgettable $10,500,000 5% $24,500,000 4% 2,250 Warner Bros.
4/28/2017 The Circle $13,000,000 $40,000,000 STX Entertainment
4/28/2017 How to Be a Latin Lover $6,500,000 $23,000,000 Lionsgate
4/28/2017 Sleight $5,000,000 $11,000,000 BH Tilt
5/5/2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $160,000,000 $400,000,000 Disney
5/12/2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword $23,000,000 $67,000,000 Warner Bros.
5/12/2017 Lowriders n/a n/a BH Tilt
5/12/2017 Snatched $25,000,000 $85,000,000 Fox
5/19/2017 Alien: Covenant $35,000,000 $90,000,000 Fox
5/19/2017 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul $10,000,000 $32,000,000 Fox
5/19/2017 Everything, Everything $8,500,000 $26,000,000 Warner Bros.
5/26/2017 Baywatch $35,000,000 (3-day)
$42,000,000 (4-day)
$115,000,000 10% Paramount
5/26/2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $61,000,000 (3-day)
($75,000,000 4-day)
$190,000,000 12% Disney
6/2/2017 Captain Underpants $24,000,000 NEW $80,000,000 NEW Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6/2/2017 Wonder Woman $83,000,000 NEW $225,000,000 NEW Warner Bros.

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this forecast.

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