Long Range Forecast: ‘Wonder Woman’ & ‘Captain Underpants’ Set for June Kickoff; ‘Fate of the Furious’ Still Tracking for $120M Launch

This week’s edition of the Long Range Forecast takes a first look at the weekend of June 2, currently slated to see the release of the fourth film in the DC Extended Universe — Wonder Woman — and the next offering from DreamWorks Animation, Captain Underpants.

Wonder Woman
Warner Bros.

PROS:

  • As the first-ever modern female superhero film, that element alone is driving significant interest at this stage. Being a legacy character with generations’ worth of awareness doesn’t hurt, either. The potential for appeal beyond comic fans is high right now.
  • Twitter sentiment is currently registering more encouraging positive-to-negative scores in line with or slightly stronger than Suicide Squad two months out from release, a notable comparison given that film’s stronger-than-usual (for the genre) appeal to women.
  • Being distanced a full month between both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. and July’s Spider-Man: Homecoming should help prevent significant audience overlap.
  • The character’s introduction in Batman v Superman was one of the more well-received aspects of that film, giving this solo entry a positive head start. Early trailer reactions have likewise been generally positive among fans.

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, it’s probably only a matter of time before the lukewarm word of mouth from prior DCEU flicks catches up as collateral damage against upcoming films on their slate. Strong marketing and reviews would be key steps toward helping prevent this be the film that first occurs with.
  • Despite strong Twitter sentiment, the overall volume of mentions isn’t as massive as previous DC films. Likewise, Facebook fan growth pales in comparison to Suicide Squad at this stage.
  • Being sandwiched in between the opening weekends of Pirates of the Caribbean and June 9’s The Mummy may not be a death sentence, but missing out on Memorial Day weekend business makes the need for strong reviews and word of mouth even more pressing for Wonder Woman (especially with the inital buzz of Pirates‘ latest entry) after a crowded May.

Captain Underpants
Fox / DreamWorks

PROS:

  • Based on a popular children’s book series, families with kids too young for Wonder Woman and the existing films in the early summer market will have a strong option here.
  • As the first major studio animated film released in two months (following April’s Smurfs: The Lost Village), the target audience will be getting hungry for kiddie fare like this.
  • As films like The Boss Baby have recently shown, animated films remain among the most likely to buck tracking trends.

CONS:

  • Initial social media buzz is noticeably lacking. Although that isn’t particularly surprising given the target audience, it has a long way to go before reaching levels that would indicate breakout potential.
  • Even as the first major animated release of summer, it still has the challenge of facing Pixar’s Cars 3 two weeks later (and Despicable Me 3 at the end of the month). Families may opt to wait for either of those films instead.

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • The Fate of the Furious continues to track steadily between Furious 7 and Fast & Furious 6. Twitter mentions are comparable in volume — but not as positive in sentiment — when compared directly to the former of those two films.
  • The weekend of April 21 continues to be muddled. Our initial expectations for Free Fire are coming down due to the expectation that it may not open in as many theaters as once presumed. A24 has not released an estimated count as of this publishing.
  • Positive buzz out of the CinemaCon screening has increased optimism around Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘s chances for staying power. A domestic run similar to Men In Black 3 is increasingly likely at this stage, but overseas is where the film’s much larger potential lies.
  • UPDATE: Shortly following the original publication of this article, Spark was confirmed to no longer be a wide release. It has been removed from the forecast.

Check out our complete 8-week forecast in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
4/14/2017 The Fate of the Furious $118,000,000 $283,000,000 4,200 Universal
4/14/2017 Spark n/a n/a 350 Open Road
4/21/2017 Born in China $5,000,000 -9% $17,300,000 -9% 2,000 Disneynature
4/21/2017 Free Fire $3,500,000 -56% $11,000,000 -48% 700 A24
4/21/2017 Phoenix Forgotten n/a n/a n/a Cinelou Films
4/21/2017 The Promise $2,250,000 $4,500,000 13% 1,500 Open Road Films
4/21/2017 Unforgettable $10,500,000 5% $24,500,000 4% 2,250 Warner Bros.
4/28/2017 The Circle $13,000,000 $40,000,000 STX Entertainment
4/28/2017 How to Be a Latin Lover $6,500,000 $23,000,000 Lionsgate
4/28/2017 Sleight $5,000,000 $11,000,000 BH Tilt
5/5/2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $160,000,000 $400,000,000 Disney
5/12/2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword $23,000,000 $67,000,000 Warner Bros.
5/12/2017 Lowriders n/a n/a BH Tilt
5/12/2017 Snatched $25,000,000 $85,000,000 Fox
5/19/2017 Alien: Covenant $35,000,000 $90,000,000 Fox
5/19/2017 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul $10,000,000 $32,000,000 Fox
5/19/2017 Everything, Everything $8,500,000 $26,000,000 Warner Bros.
5/26/2017 Baywatch $35,000,000 (3-day)
$42,000,000 (4-day)
$115,000,000 10% Paramount
5/26/2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $61,000,000 (3-day)
($75,000,000 4-day)
$190,000,000 12% Disney
6/2/2017 Captain Underpants $24,000,000 NEW $80,000,000 NEW Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6/2/2017 Wonder Woman $83,000,000 NEW $225,000,000 NEW Warner Bros.

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this forecast.

Boxoffice Staff

24 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Tomer April 07, 2017

    No way in hell Wonder Woman opens with less than $100M. Still underestimating Pirates and Baywatch. Don’t know about Captain Underpants. I think it will open bigger than that but will get killed by the competition. Should have opened in the pre Memorial Day slot, like Angry Birds last year.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Everton Carter April 07, 2017

      I guess they’re being cautious in case this is the film that suffers from the mixed word of mouth for the DCEU and will revise upwards once it’s clear that isn’t a factor.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      DangerS April 07, 2017

      I think it will open like Doctor Strange and Logan, at $85-90M and have a total of around $230M.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Alan Alaric Roi April 11, 2017

      Lets remember that the numbers this far out are often way off what they will be. For example, last year at first analysis, Suicide Squad was pegged at a 98 million dollar opening. It actually opened at 133. Its more surprising when the long range numbers are right than really, really wrong.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Taylor April 07, 2017

    First of all, Spark and Captain Underpants both have a subtitle next to their title, those being “A Space Tail” and “The First Epic Movie”, but the most important thing here is that according to BoxOfficeMojo, Spark will be a limited release (at least on April 14) – around 350 theaters.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Rachel April 07, 2017

    You are GROSSLY underestimating WW. It will open huge due to female crowd and kids. If it’s good as it seems, and the great reactions to 3 full scenes from CinemaCon and WonderCon indicate that it is, the legs should take it over 600M. You’re really missing here.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Everton Carter April 07, 2017

    “As the first-ever major female superhero film”

    No it isn’t. Hopefully it’ll be the first SUCCESSFUL one, but Catwoman was a big fig tentpole attempt ($100m budget back in 2004). and even that was probably the second major attempt.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Terry April 07, 2017

      Catwoman is not a superhero; she is an anti-hero at best (but mostly known as a villainess), and so is Elektra. Supergirl was the first major superheroine to get a solo movie (back in the eighties).

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Robert April 16, 2017

        For all intents and purposes, Catwoman is a superhero. Just like if the Punisher were on the list, he’d be looped in with Batman and Spiderman.

        Reply
  5. Avatar
    DangerS April 07, 2017

    You’re still underestimating Pirates 5. According to Deadline, it’s tracking for $115M+ over its 4-day opening.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      ADFan April 08, 2017

      Deadline doesn’t have any tracking numbers. Those won’t come for another few weeks. That’s merely Deadline’s prediction just like this is BO’s prediction.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Rene Valdez April 07, 2017

    Those early estimates for Wonder Woman are pretty good.

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Don't Mind Me Now April 07, 2017

    WONDER WOMAN is a far bigger threat to PIRATES and THE MUMMY than vice versa. WW’s buzz will only grow from here, as the film will take advantage of titles like FATE OF THE FURIOUS and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 to build up its audience with a renewed marketing campaign. Regardless of reception, the DCEU has yet to have a film open under $100 million; if WONDER WOMAN does so, it won’t be by much, and given the lackluster receptions of trailers for PIRATES and THE MUMMY, WONDER WOMAN should hold sway over action-oriented audiences at least until the release of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT. If the same online protestors who infamously “boycotted” ROGUE ONE attempt to mount a similar campaign against WONDER WOMAN, that will only help spur positive attention towards the film and could compensate if the film earns the traditional low critical marks for a DCEU picture. All told, I’m thinking something along the lines of a $100 million opening, $275 million finish.

    CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS is clearly off to a slow start, having held off on a trailer release until the release of BOSS BABY (maybe it should have used LEGO BATMAN as a launching pad instead). The book series was very popular a decade ago, and perhaps the film can spur some nostalgia in those former fans. But it’s unclear how popular it is with today’s kids, and the title might spur some eyerolls from parents unfamiliar with the material. Opening a cartoon superhero film in the shadow of WONDER WOMAN may be unwise, as it automatically puts the film in the lesser position of the weekend and gives the impression that the movie is a jab at more serious superhero films, which may not sit well with parents who are fans of said films; additionally, it’s harder to sell what looks like a parody film against an installment of the genuine article. CARS 3 is poised for a comedown from CARS 2, but DESPICABLE ME 3 will be building up a lot of steam, and the two titles will do serious damage to CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS both in terms of opening power and legs. Arguably, Fox ought to have considered swapping this film’s release date with that of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL, which is a dud regardless of release date, but with the marketing campaign only just beginning, it’s too late now. I expect a $20 million opening, $60 million finish – though good reviews could boost it closer to BoxOffice.com’s predictions.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Moe April 08, 2017

      About WW, I guess some casual moviegoers (if not many) may stay away from DCEU from this film because they may feel that they don’t get what they pay and go in for.

      Man of Steel was not to many peoples liking. People gave DCEU a second chance with BvS and ended up being fooled a second time.

      Those 2 films could have really ruined things for WW and other DCEU films going forward.

      Although, if WW is well received by critics and generates good word of mouth, it could help change peoples perception of DCEU future releases. However, for this film I expect a slight drop from the previous entries in the franchise.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Moe April 08, 2017

        What I should add, WW will most likely be both a victim of its 2 ancestor films but a saviour for those that come after.

        Reply
  8. Avatar
    mo April 08, 2017

    I thought the trailers for the Boss baby and trolls were bad as the movies themselves which they were but they overperformed.This captain underpants thing looks worse but it can overperform as well for some reason .
    Moreover,as a little answer to ”Don’t mind me now” ,I don’t think the trailers for Pirates received luckluster reactions.On the contrary my reaction to the Wonder Woman trailers wasn’t positive but I don’t think this can prevent other people from watching that movie.What can really put second thoughts in their minds is the fact that they went to see Bvs and Suicide Squad with high hopes which weren’t accomplished so this time they could be more caucious .

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Don't Mind Me Now April 08, 2017

      To clarify, the negative reaction I’ve seen from basically everyone I know is less about the content of the trailer itself and moreso the idea of “Oh God, *another* Pirates movie?” I have not seen a lot of enthusiasm about PIRATES 5 from really anyone outside hardcore fans, and while the trailers haven’t been making anyone more upset about the film, I haven’t noticed them getting anyone excited either. Though it isn’t helping that what the trailers appear to suggest is “Jack Sparrow fights more shellfish/undead pirate people!” which offers little reason to watch *this* film rather than just rewatch CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL.

      And, as usual, this is my perception of the general public mindset, not my own opinion on the film (I’ll probably give it a chance if it sounds alright).

      Reply
  9. Avatar
    Justin April 08, 2017

    You’re still underestimating Pirates 5 as if it’s the cool thing to do. With the positive reactions, return to form, and great visual effects the opening should be at least 90 million and if it gets lucky 120 million.

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    M.Day April 08, 2017

    Pirates 5 should open around 80-100 3 days
    100-115+ 4 days

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Michael April 08, 2017

    The people writing these comments are way too high on Pirates 5. Movie looks mediocre and nobody in my theater seemed to care when the trailer came on during Beauty and the Beast. Last one dropped significantly at the box office domestically. I expect the same for this. This franchise should have stayed a trilogy like the Transformers movies except spin offs would work more favorably with the latter.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      J April 10, 2017

      Sorry but we feel the need to defend such a low (and extremely unrealistic) box office prediction. Pirates of the Caribbean is a much bigger franchise than you would imagine and just because it’s not Marvel or Star Wars, or even Fast and Furious you have to discount it. Yeah, the fourth film wasn’t very good but this is supposedly a return to form. If Star Wars could survive after three cruddy prequels, Pirates can survive after a terrible sequel.

      Reply
  12. Avatar
    WMX April 09, 2017

    I think that F8 is going to make at least 125 million F/S/S.

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    Sagar April 09, 2017

    Fate of the Furious – 130 million opening weekend
    Guardians of the Galaxy – 196 million opening weekend
    Alien: Covenant – 65 million opening weekend
    Pirates 5 – 125 million opening 4 day weekend
    Wonder Woman – 110 million opening weekend

    This May will be the strongest May in history.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Jimmy April 10, 2017

    No matter what will still think Wonder Woman will become a success, but others will dislike it on purpose to get more of DCEU’s movies low ratings to try and get more people to not want to see it or to spread the word that it’s not good.for example like Batman vs Superman, now that was a good movie and the ultimate edition is, beautiful no matter what anyone thinks. So no matter what don’t believe anyone’s opinion.

    Reply

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