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Why Wonder Woman’s second-weekend sales are so extraordinary — and important

Wonder Woman’s second weekend was better than those of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.

Wonder Woman Warner Bros.
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Wonder Woman beat the boys’ club at the box office.

This weekend, Patty Jenkins’s new entry in Warner Bros.’ DC movie universe took in an estimated $57 million, according to Box Office Mojo — around a 45 percent drop from its opening weekend. And while drawing just over half the number of opening-weekend viewers may not sound impressive on the surface, that figure is actually really great news for Warner Bros. and the team that put the film together.

When it comes to superhero movies — all movies, really — the drop between an opening weekend and its second weekend is often precipitous. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice saw its box office haul drop 69 percent from its first to second weekend, and Suicide Squad had a decrease of about 67 percent. So Wonder Woman’s second-weekend box office numbers are pretty stellar compared with those two movies — in fact, as BuzzFeed’s Adam Vary points out, Wonder Woman had the best second weekend of any modern superhero movie, in terms of first-to-second-week domestic box office decrease:

When you add in foreign box office, Wonder Woman sits at around $435 million in its first two weekends — a figure that shatters the initial projections for the film, which was tracking for an estimated $65 million opening weekend domestically.

These numbers matter to both fans and Hollywood insiders, because there’s unbelievable pressure on Wonder Woman to not only be a good movie but also do well at the box office. It’s an unfortunate reality that in the past, poorly received female superhero movies like Catwoman and Elektra have been cited as a reason not to create more superhero movies centered on female characters.

Though a sequel hasn’t officially been announced, Wonder Woman’s successful box seems to indicate that a second Wonder Woman film is a no-brainer at this point. THR reported last week that negotiations for director Patty Jenkins to return for a second movie are expected to begin soon.

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