Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman smashed a glass ceiling in the US last weekend, minting an estimated $US100.5 million as it set a new record for a female director, beating Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey.
The Australian debut was pretty impressive although, pro-rata, below the US. Launched on 276 screens, the Warner Bros/DC Comics superhero adventure starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine captured $6.7 million, according to Numero.
Some exhibitors were hoping Wonder Woman would have the potential to get to $20 million but that now seems unlikely unless there is a strong second weekend.
There was daylight between the top title and Paramount’s Baywatch, which rang up $3.6 million on 266 screens, including previews; a rather better result than the disastrous $18.5 million US opening. The Seth Gordon-directed caper inspired by the TV series benefited from the Australian premiere attended by Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario.
All told, the top 20 titles’ weekend takings amounted to $16.3 million, a healthy 21.6 per cent jump on the prior weekend.
Among the other notable new releases, eOne’s 20th Century Women struggled to make an impact, and Aussie director Ben Young’s Hounds of Love had a decent per-screen average on limited release.
Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ranked third, nabbing $2.4 million in its second outing on 303, despite tumbling by 58 per cent. Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the Queensland-shot adventure has grossed a mediocre $9.9 million.
Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is running out of steam, taking $558,000 in its sixth orbit on 221, down 45 per cent, but has amassed a lucrative $31.7 million.
Warner Bros./ Roadshow’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a resounding flop, tumbling by 56 per cent to $470,000 in in its third frame on 252, for a total of nearly $5 million.
One of the few titles targeted at adults who aren’t into superheroes, Transmission’s British-Indian drama Viceroy’s House collected $353,000 in its third weekend on 137, off just 19 per cent, advancing to nearly $2 million.
StudioCanal’s action-thriller John Wick: Chapter Two plunged by 63 per cent to $316,000 in its third lap on 195, banking $3.9 million.
In its fourth weekend Fox’s Alien: Covenant fell by 62 per cent to $292,000 for a total of $8.9 million, which suggests audiences are well and truly tired of the Ridley Scott franchise.
Clinging to ninth spot, EOne’s weepie A Dog’s Purpose fetched $198,000 in its fifth lap on 157, down 49 per cent, as its cume reached a respectable $4.3 million.
The Fox comedy Snatched fell by 66 per cent in its fourth weekend, making $280,000 on 242. That brings the comedy's total to $7.7 million, below industry expectations.
Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women, which star Annette Bening, Lucas Zumann, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig, took $127,000 on 32 screens, including previews.
Young’s debut film, Hounds of Love raked in $29,000 on five screens, averaging $5,836, and $50,000 with previews.
Produced by Good Universe and Mandeville and starring Michael Peña, Lizzy Caplan and Booth, the film follows a man who has a recurring dream of losing his family. It later turns into reality when the planet is invaded by a force bent on brutality and destruction.