- Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. has a lot to be proud of about its release of “Wonder Woman,” as the first female-centered superhero movie of all time took in over $400 million at the domestic box office to top the summer movie season.
But in a time when the foreign box office is arguably more important, the studio failed to perform overseas as strongly as other superhero movies.
Only 49.8% of the movie’s $819 worldwide box office came from foreign territories, and that’s one of the worst international performances by a superhero movie released in the last decade, according to Forbes.
Typically, superhero movies earn as much (if not more) in their theatrical revenue overseas compared to North America. Outside of “Wonder Woman,” only 2008’s “Iron Man” ($266.7 million foreign vs. $318.4 million domestic), 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” ($128.6 million foreign vs. $134.8 million domestic), and 2011’s “Green Lantern” ($103.2 million foreign vs. $116.6 million domestic) didn’t make more internationally.
In the case of these titles, “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” were released before the superhero movie craze, while “Green Lantern” was just awful.
In a comparison with Sony’s superhero summer 2017 release, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Forbes showed that Spidey outperformed Diana Prince in Europe, while in South Korea, it was even worse as “Spider-Man” earned 6% of its worldwide gross there, while “Wonder Woman” only took in 2%. However, “Wonder Woman” outperformed “Spider-Man” in Australia, Taiwan, and Brazil.
There are multiple theories why “Wonder Woman” wasn’t stronger internationally – chauvinism, star Gal Gadot being Israeli – but the most realistic Forbes can find is that Warner Bros.’ overseas marketing isn’t as strong as the other studios when it comes to superhero movies. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is the only superhero title from the studio that earned over 60% of its worldwide gross overseas ($542.9 million foreign vs. $330.3 million domestic). Marvel has 11 titles that have taken in 63% or more.
It’s something for Warner Bros. to strive for when “Wonder Woman 2” comes out.