'Wonder Woman' Set to Lead Post-Memorial Day Weekend Charge
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Wonder Woman is looking strong out of the gate, delivering an estimated $38.85 million on Friday, which includes $11 million from Thursday previews. This is nearly identical to the performance of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, which brought in $11.2 million from previews, delivered $37.8 million on Friday and ultimately opened with $94.3 million, suggesting a $95-100 million opening is in the offing. Wonder Woman received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, which was 52% female vs. 48% male.

Overseas, Wonder Woman is now up to $47.1 million, bringing the worldwide cume to $85.95 million so far.

Fox's release of the DreamWorks Animated feature, Captain Underpants, is looking at a sturdy, second place finish after an estimated $8 million on Friday, looking to finish around $25 million for the weekend.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a full look at the weekend box office.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Wonder Woman is off to an excellent start, bringing in an impressive $11 million from Thursday preview screenings, which began at 7 PM at 3,500+ theaters.

Comparatively, this is just behind the $11.2 million Guardians of the Galaxy brought in before its $94.3 million opening and ahead of the $9.4 million Doctor Strange brought in on Thursday night before its $85 million debut last year. Both films were referenced in our preview below and the $85-95 million range might be just what we should expect for the film's opening weekend.

Additionally, with Thursday previews beginning at 5PM in ~2,550 theaters, Fox's Captain Underpants brought in $650,000. While Thursday previews for animated features are typically all over the board, it is notable that this matches the Thursday night gross for Home, which went on to open with $52.1 million. At the same time, it's less than the $900k Trolls brought in on Thursday night before its $46.5 million debut last year.

We will be back tomorrow morning with a look at Friday estimates. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Following a Memorial Day holiday weekend that fell short of the same weekend last year, this weekend is looking to over perform versus the post-holiday time frame from a year ago. Leading the way will be Wonder Woman, the latest installment in WB's DC Comics Universe, followed by Fox's release of the DreamWorks Animation title Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Both new releases are looking to outperform studio expectations while it's going to be interesting to see how last weekend's new releases perform in their second weekend after delivering disappointing domestic debuts.

At the top, much of the talk this past week has been for director Patty Jenkins's Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot as the title character. Compared to the last three DC Comics films, reviews have been off the charts as it currently holds a 75 rating on Metacritic, a score much higher than the likes of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, of which only Man of Steel scored higher than 50 on the Metacritic scale. Beyond reviews, the film is also receiving additional attention as it is one of only a few major comic book adaptations to have ever featured a female in the lead role, and it looks to dramatically over perform against predecessors such as Elektra and Catwoman. In fact, it will top the combined domestic grosses for those two films in its opening weekend alone.

As for expectations, the studio is anticipating an opening anywhere from $65-75 million, which seems incredibly conservative as we are having a hard time forecasting this one to open below $80 million from 4,150 theaters and most likely closer to, if not over, $90 million for the three-day.

A look at IMDb page view data leading up to release shows the film out-pacing releases such as Ant-Man and Doctor Strange at the same point in the release cycle and it has even started out-pacing Guardians of the Galaxy over the last couple of days. Compared to the three previous films in the DC Extended Universe it's pacing closest to Man of Steel, but for the most part is well behind all three at the same point in the release cycle, suggesting an opening weekend prediction at or above $100 million would be a risky proposition.

A good range for a forecast would be to expect an opening anywhere from $82-95 million. Thursday preshows will take place in 3,500+ locations, which might give us a good indication as to what to expect, especially if it can top $8 million from those preview showings.

Internationally, Wonder Woman kicked off its international roll-out on Tuesday and as of Wednesday, the film had already grossed $6.3 million following openings in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia. The film opens in a total of 55 markets this weekend, including China, UK, Russia, Italy, Korea, Mexico and Brazil.

In second position we find Fox's release of the DreamWorks Animation title Captain Underpants based on Dav Pilkey's series of children's books. Once again, while the studio is hoping for an opening around $20 million or so we're anticipating greater returns, though any hesitancy to expect much more is for good reason.

From our perspective, a look at IMDb page view data shows Captain Underpants pacing well below previous DreamWorks Animated titles such as Trolls ($46.5m opening), The Croods ($43.6m opening), Mr. Peabody & Sherman ($32.2m opening) and this year's The Boss Baby ($50.1m opening). It's pacing closest to Trolls, though not close enough to consider it much of a competition, especially considering interest hasn't matched the massive spike following the film's trailer release back in late March. All told, we're anticipating an opening around $25-28 million.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is looking at a third place finish, but just how much it drops will be something to keep an eye on. The film's opening is near identical to X-Men: Apocalypse's opening last year and that film dipped over 65% following its Memorial Day opening. We're not quite that pessimistic, but we are anticipating a 60% drop for a second weekend around $25 million, which would push its domestic cume just shy of $120 million.

Fourth place goes to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which will top $350 million this weekend as it looks to add another $13+ million to the coffers.

And rounding out the top five we have Paramount's R-rated comedy Baywatch, which delivered a disappointing opening weekend last week and while we're being optimistic in anticipating a 47% drop this weekend things could go much worse considering neither reviews nor IMDb user reviews, which currently have it at 5.6/10, are working in its favor. The "B+" CinemaScore isn't too bad, but we're not too optimistic in the film's chances going forward.

Also opening this weekend is Lionsgate's release of Pantelion's 3 Idiotas into 349 theaters. The film should pull in anywhere from $900k-$1+ million for the weekend, which would put it on par with previous Pantelion releases debuting in a similar number of theaters and page view performance on IMDb. Should it pop any higher it might be able to push King Arthur out of the top ten, which could happen as Arthur is shedding nearly 1,300 theaters this weekend.

In limited release CBS Films will release Dean into 15 theaters while Well Go debuts God of War into 26 theaters after it opened in third position last weekend in China with $4.15 million.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Wonder Woman (4,165 theaters) - $89.0 M
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (3,434 theaters) - $28.8 M
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (4,276 theaters) - $25.0 M
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3,507 theaters) - $13.5 M
  • Baywatch (3,647 theaters) - $9.8 M
  • Alien: Covenant (2,660 theaters) - $4.8 M
  • Everything, Everything (2,375 theaters) - $3.4 M
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2,088 theaters) - $2.1 M
  • Snatched (1,625 theaters) - $1.7 M
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (1,222 theaters) - $1.5 M

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