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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Opens Strong in the Year of COVID


This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman 1984." (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Opens Strong in the Year of COVID
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The new movie Wonder Woman 1984 has enjoyed a successful opening in 2020. The second movie in the Wonder Woman series reportedly earned $16.7 million over the Christmas weekend.

That is not a large amount in a normal year. But the coronavirus health crisis has changed expectations in the movie business. Usually, movie theaters are filled throughout the winter holiday season in the United States. There are lots of releases and lots of people paying to see them. On Christmas Day alone in 2019, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker earned $32 million from filmgoers.

The media market research company Comscore reports that only 35 percent of North American movie theaters are even operating right now.

Wonder Woman 1984 played in about 2,150 theaters. Media company HBOMax released it online at the same time. The movie made an additional $19.4 million internationally, after opening a week earlier. To date, Wonder Woman 1984 has made about $85 million around the world.

“This is a very weak theatrical opening," said David Gross of FranchiseRe, another market research company. Noting the many closed theaters and rising COVID-19 rate, Gross said, “The majority of moviegoers and fans have little choice but to watch the film on television. Early foreign openings have been weak as well.”

Patty Jenkins directed and Gal Godot starred in both films in the series. The first was a huge success, opening with more than $100 million in sales at 4,100 theaters. It set a record for biggest opening by a female filmmaker. It earned $822 million worldwide.

Wonder Woman 1984 cost about $200 million to make. Before COVID-19 appeared, the film had been expected to earn about $1 billion from movie theater attendance.

FranchiseRE predicts that total earnings will be around $180 million.

WarnerMedia owns the film series. It is counting on Wonder Woman 1984 to matter more to HBO Max, a movie service. There were some reports of technical problems, however, from fans trying to watch online.

But Warner Bros. Studio is praising the performance as the best that could be expected, given the current conditions. The studio on Sunday announced that it would speed production of a third Wonder Woman film, with Jenkins and Gadot returning.

Wonder Woman 1984 broke records and exceeded our expectations,” said Andy Forssell, a WarnerMedia official.

“During these very difficult times, it was nice to give families the option of enjoying this uplifting film at home,” he added.

I’m Caty Weaver.

VOA News reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.

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Words in This Story

exceed v. to be better than (something)

option n. a choice or possibility

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