DCEU fans cheered when it was revealed that Wonder Woman 1984 had been "certified fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes within a few hours of its release, racking up an impressive 89% score. While that rating was one of the best ever scored by a DCEU movie, later reviews were not as kind to Wonder Woman 1984, causing it to lose its "certified fresh" rating.
At the time of writing this article, the film has a Tomatometer score of 65%, which is a significant drop in rating. While the audience score is better at 73%, it is still not comparable to the initial 89%. On the one hand, in today's day and age, Rotten Tomatoes is the most popular review site in the world, so a non-fresh rating is definitely not good news.
But on the other hand, previous DCEU movies that scored as low or even lower than Wonder Woman 1984, namely Aquaman and Suicide Squad, were able to overcome the negative reviews to make a killing at the box office. With franchise films, a huge part of the earnings come from brand loyalty. Considering that the original Wonder Woman released in 2017 was a big hit, it should be enough to convince fans to check out the sequel for themselves instead of relying on the Tomatometer.
The big question is, how will the Rotten Tomatoes score affect the film's earnings? Wonder Woman 1984 has already underperformed on the international market, where it was released before the U.S, hauling in around $38.5 million, which was well below the $60 million that the industry had forecast. Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com believes a $15 million box office debut in the U.S. would be an optimistic figure to hope for.
"We're seeing 'Wonder Woman 1984' drive the strongest ticket pre-sales of any film in the pandemic era thus far, but I'm leaning cautiously toward over $10 million for the weekend given the number of movie theater closures, audience caution, and a simultaneous streaming release. A figure closer to $15 million could be achievable but there's a great deal of unpredictability to factor in right now."
Of course, a big part of the success of Wonder Woman 1984 is tied into not just how much money it earns, but how many new subscribers it brings to HBO Max, where it will stream during the first month of its release. There again, brand loyalty is likely to play a bigger role than critical reviews.
Jenkins had previously hinted that the success of Wonder Woman had prompted Warner Bros. to give her free rein while making the sequel. Now, that free rein will likely end, if the filmmaker chooses to come back to the franchise at all.
Directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Natasha Rothwell. The film arrives in theaters and HBO Max on December 25, while debuting theatrically in international markets starting on December 16. This news is confirmed at Rotten Tomatoes.