Weekend Projections: ‘Wonder Woman’ Justifies Buzz w/ $38.85M Friday, Possible $100M Weekend; ‘Captain Underpants’ Strong w/ $25M+

Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports this morning that Wonder Woman bowed to an estimated $38.85 million on opening day Friday, including Thursday night’s $11 million start and $3.7 million overall from IMAX screens. This is an excellent start for the widely praised film, besting opening day comparisons of other origin stories like Doctor Strange ($32.6 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($37.85 million). Also encouraging is the fact that the film displayed less front-loaded behavior from Thursday to Friday than those and other notable comps, suggesting its weekend holding power could be stronger than normal for the genre as word of mouth spreads and matinee business flourishes on Saturday and Sunday.

Of course, a noteworthy record to mention here is that the film has set a new record for an opening day gross by a female director, coming in ahead of Sam Taylor-Johnson and Fifty Shades of Grey‘s $30.3 million.

Playing into the expectation that weekend business will be robust is also the fact that 52 percent of Wonder Woman‘s opening day attendees were women, according to the studio. 72 percent of the audience were 25 years or older, while 53 percent were under 35 years of age. Needless to say, this is a major departure from the typical audience makeup of a superhero film as the genre (including every Marvel and major DC film over the past decade) have had a majority male audience until now.

For the weekend, typical projections for Wonder Woman point to a debut around $95-98 million. However, based on the film’s incredible reception so far and reasons we’ve previously outlined, we’re remaining optimistic for the chances of the film crossing the $100 million threshold domestically by the end of Sunday.

Meanwhile, Captain Underpants also scored a solid debut with $8 million. The well-reviewed DreamWorks film should also play well throughout the weekend as the studio expects around $24.8 million. Our own projection stands a little higher for now at $26 million.

Key weekend projections are listed below. Studio weekend estimates will released on Sunday.

WIDE (1000+)

1 Wonder Woman $101,000,000 4,165 $24,250 $101,000,000 1 Warner Bros.
2 Captain Underpants $26,000,000 3,434 $7,571 $26,000,000 1 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $21,800,000 -65% 4,276 0 $5,098 $114,808,771 2 Disney
4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $10,000,000 -52% 3,507 -364 $2,851 $355,741,332 5 Disney
5 Baywatch $8,500,000 -54% 3,647 0 $2,331 $41,724,438 2 Paramount
6 Alien: Covenant $3,900,000 -63% 2,660 -1112 $1,466 $67,119,484 3 Fox
7 Everything, Everything $3,100,000 -48% 2,375 -426 $1,305 $28,081,587 3 Warner Bros.
8 Snatched $1,325,000 -67% 1,625 -1033 $815 $43,853,414 4 Fox
9 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul $1,260,000 -72% 2,088 -1086 $603 $17,864,604 3 20th Century Fox
10 King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword $1,200,000 -64% 1,222 -1281 $982 $37,202,957 4 Warner Bros.

LIMITED (100 — 999)

1 Beauty and the Beast $655,000 -55% 527 -549 $1,243 $502,133,471 12 Disney
2 The Boss Baby $630,000 -63% 684 -658 $921 $170,930,564 10 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3 3 Idiotas $600,000 349 $1,719 $600,000 1 Lionsgate / Pantelion
4 The Fate of the Furious $471,000 -68% 593 -765 $794 $223,788,935 8 Universal
5 Gifted $165,000 -57% 225 -155 $733 $24,054,345 9 Fox Searchlight


Friday Report: Warner Bros. announced this morning that Wonder Woman scored an estimated $11 million from Thursday night’s debut showings, including $1.5 million from IMAX alone. By comparison, the $11 million take comes in 17 percent ahead of Doctor Strange‘s $9.4 million, just behind the $11.2 million of Guardians of the Galaxy, and ahead of the $9 million of Man of Steel in June 2013 (which was part of a $12 million haul from “Walmart presales” during its Thursday night debut). Long story short, the nature of this film as an origin story, its increasing buzz through strong reviews and early word of mouth, and considerable potential for stronger-than-usual walk-up business throughout the weekend may skew typical comparisons to superhero films. There are also the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals in play this weekend, which could shift some viewing habits.

Meanwhile, Captain Underpants took in $650,000 from shows at 5pm and onward. That’s ahead of Storks‘ $440,000 and behind Trolls‘ $950,000, although neither of those films opened near the start of summer.

We’ll offer updated projections on Saturday morning with the studio’s official Friday estimate, but for you now you can read our previous weekend forecast from Wednesday.

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