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Monday, December 21, 2020 

WW 1984 is not doing well overseas

It looks like the "tentpole movie of the year" is not having the impact Warner Brothers was hoping for in foreign markets, not even in China:
Diana Prince may be able to best Cheetah, but she’s no match for a global pandemic.

“Wonder Woman 1984” opened to a less than heroic $18.8 million in China over the weekend and a disappointing $38.5 million overseas. That’s far less than the $38 million that the first “Wonder Woman” grossed in its opening weekend in China and likely means that the follow-up will earn far less than the $90.5 million that its predecessor pulled in from the country over the course of its run. China is one of the few theatrical markets where moviegoing had shown signs of life during a public health catastrophe, but revenues around the country were still down 30%. “Wonder Woman 1984” wasn’t the only blockbuster hopeful that sputtered. “The Rescue,” a Chinese action movie, made just under $36 million in its initial weekend. That’s far below projections and could mean the film will lose money.

“Wonder Woman 1984” was intended to be one of the holiday season’s biggest releases, but with coronavirus cases rising, Warner Bros. has opted to debut the film in the U.S. on HBO Max when it opens in cinemas on Dec. 25.

It’s getting a more robust rollout overseas. The film opened this weekend in 32 foreign markets. “Wonder Woman 1984” pulled in $3.6 million in Taiwan, $2 million in Thailand, $1.7 million in Brazil, and $1.6 million in Mexico and Japan.
I'm a little confused about "robustness" here. If the film opened in 30-plus foreign markets and they still couldn't turn a profit, nothing much is robust about that. A $100 million-plus opening would've been more promising, but so far, that's not the case. Let's turn now to what Variety confirms is problematic with this sequel movie:
“Wonder Woman 1984” brings back Gal Gadot as the Amazonian warrior princess with Patty Jenkins returning as director. The film follows Wonder Woman in the Reagan era as she does battle with Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), a businessman and Trump doppelganger.
Well there you have it. This film's saddled with a divisive political statement that would've been better avoided, yet WB had to go "woke" and let their leftism get the better of them. And unfortunately, that's exactly why they decided to release it half on television, so they could spread some propaganda around like messy grease. Apparently, the message matters more than the money here.
It’s unlikely that any U.S. cinemas will reopen in the coming weeks as coronavirus cases continue to surge, but the few that remain in business are looking to “Wonder Woman 1984” and fellow newcomers “Promising Young Woman” and “News of the World” as salvation. But the Justice League member’s biggest competition may come from the small screen, where the Pixar film “Soul” is debuting the same day on Disney Plus.
While vaccines have been greenlighted for distribution, yes, it's entirely possible many theaters will still remain closed for a few more months, so the producers certainly missed the opportunity they were hoping for here. Of course, if this had been released normally about a year ago, recalling WB originally wanted to issue the film in late 2019, would we have heard clearly about the news Max Lord was going to serve as a metaphor for Trump so easily? Maybe not, so, depending what kind of audience this receives upon release even on TV in the USA remains to be seen. After all the alarming abuse the Democrats heaped upon Trump in 4 years, there is a certain segment out there who're unlikely to take kindly to a movie made by ingrates.

For now, one could argue Max Lord's been avenged, in a way, after all the abuse he suffered over the past 15 years, turned into a lethal criminal he was never created as when he originally debuted in the late 80s. Aside from a flimsy looking plot, I'm not going to see a film building on a modern contrivance wherein the misused businessman ends up gunning down a guy named Ted Kord for shock's sake.

Update: Bounding Into Comics also brings up a note on the metaphors:
...thanks to early reviews, it’s now been confirmed that Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is not just an allegorical representation of greed and excess, but also a stereotypical political parody of President Trump along the line of those seen in Joker, Birds of Prey, and countless other media produced by DC (where, clearly, messages and symbolism take priority over story and imagination).
As they have for a long time already. And they wonder why they're plummeting in sales?

Update 2: here's what John Nolte says about what the box office results can tell us.

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