Movie Pre-Game: Will Wonder Woman End the DCEU’s Cold Streak?


What’s the Deal: It’s DC Extended Universe Movie #4. This is it. Positive Twitter reaction. A positive Rotten Tomato Score. Positives. Positives. Positives. Love is in the air. Everyone is holding hands. No divisive reaction. Insert R.E.M. song “Shiny Happy People.” Wonder Woman has arrived.

Check out Josh Sarnecky’s column about why he’s concerned about Wonder Woman, despite the great reviews.

Daniel Cohen’s Breakdown

This is the fourth DCEU movie, and so far, I strongly believe they are 2-for-3. I’ve made no secret about the one I loathe (Suicide Squad). Most people believe they are 0-for-3. As a DC fan, I’ve expounded a lot of energy and high pitched screaming defending Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There’s still a few hours to go, but by all accounts, this is the first time I won’t have to go in the bunker and hold the fort to defend a DC movie. This is it. We’re all going to love Wonder Woman.

That’s not to say there aren’t concerns. By all accounts, Gal Gadot gives a fantastic performance. She’s still an unknown though. In BvS, her performance as Wonder Woman was spectacular. That glib smile she gives while fighting Doomsday says it all. As Diana Prince though, she was hit or miss. I’m confident she’ll be a fantastic Wonder Woman, but it’s still a question mark at this very moment.

What isn’t a question mark is the rest of this cast. Robin Wright. Connie Nielsen. David Thewlis. Danny Huston. They will all be great Guaranteed. I’ve said it a hundred times, but Chris Pine is the secret weapon to this movie. He won’t let it be bad.

In typical WB fashion, they’ve released too many trailers, but at least they don’t give a ton away, as BvS did. Thankfully, all the trailers look superb. While the reactions haven’t been “OH MY GOD, THIS MOVIE IS INCREDIBLE,” they’ve been pretty damn favorable.

I want to love this film. The stars seem aligned.

For the love of Zeus and Hera, don’t let me down, Warner Brothers!

The Biggest Asset: Everyone is rooting for this movie to be awesome

The Achilles Heel: DC Baggage

Marisa Carpico’s Breakdown

When I say I’m cautiously optimistic about Wonder Woman, what I mean is: “If this movie isn’t good, I will never recover.” After a year and a half filled with controversy over an all-female Ghostbusters, a certain unbroken glass ceiling, and a million other things, ladies have had a tough time. We need a win. And unfairly or not, Wonder Woman’s success will be a big factor in whether we get more female-led superhero movies.

Unlike many, I quite liked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yes, that was largely because Ben Affleck starred as the Dark Knight in my sexual fantasies long before he was cast in the role, but I also thought there were a lot of things to enjoy about the film. One of them was Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Though I side-eyed Gadot when she was first cast, she played Diana with a really compelling mix of mystery, wit and sex appeal that couldn’t help but intrigue. Even better, her heroism lacked the self-obsession that made Batman and Superman seem like damaged little boys having a dick-measuring contest.

At this point, we’ve seen just about as many origin stories as we’ll ever need to see, but I hope Wonder Woman leans into the Themyscira stuff and shows us how and why Diana decides to leave a “paradise island” populated solely by powerful women to help save the violent “world of men.” I’m not sure why, but something about that seems really relevant at this moment in history. Incidentally, anyone know of any theaters in NYC doing women-only screenings or do I have to fly to Austin?

Gadot pulled off a minor miracle in BvS by breaking through the DC/Snyder-verse’s unrelenting gloom and self-importance by bringing a sense of playfulness and unqualified heroism. If she can manage to do that again while the full focus of DC’s drab brooding is on her, then she should be canonized.

The Biggest Asset: Gal Gadot

The Achilles Heel: DCEU’s Brooding

Matthew Kelly’s Breakdown

It’s 2017. Fox sent off Hugh Jackman with a ninth Wolverine movie.Marvel just released its second film about a talking raccoon. Sony is scraping so close to the bottom of the Spider-man villain barrel that they’ve reached The Shocker.

And then there’s DC. About to make release their first Wonder Woman movie.

Wonder Woman.

More than 75 years since her creation; one of the top ten most recognizable comic characters on Earth; the highest profile female superhero by a Central City mile. Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting a movie.

And by all accounts, it isn’t bad. Patty Jenkins has proven a competent director. Gal Gadot fits the role. Chris Pine is charming. For once, WB doesn’t seem interested in reinventing the wheel. We are getting a by the numbers superhero origin for an incredibly iconic character. And that is more than OK.

It Biggest Asset: Being the first female-led superhero movie has granted Wonder Woman a Herculean amount of goodwill.

It’s Achilles Heel: Like the mighty Atlas, Wonder Woman has the weight of the entire DC Cinematic Universe and the hopes of women everywhere on her shoulders. That’s a lot to bear.

Daniel Cohen: With how high the Rotten Tomato score has been, this could very well get to Guardians’ level, and maybe even surpass it. If Wonder Woman doesn’t breeze past $100 Million opening weekend, it will be a massive disappointment. I’d be flabbergasted if this wasn’t in the top three when the summer movie season ends. There’s great energy around it right now. It’s going to clean up.

Ceiling: $900 Million Worldwide

Floor: $650 Million Worldwide

Marisa Carpico: As the first female-led superhero movie of the current comic book franchise resurgence, Wonder Woman doesn’t bear easy comparison when it comes to box office. The closest would probably be either something like the first Hunger Games, or Captain America: First Avenger. However, this isn’t Diana’s first appearance on the big screen, and BvS is perhaps a better indicator. Despite savage reviews, that film made $330.4 Million domestically and $873.3 Million Worldwide. So, even if Wonder Woman is bad, it’s going to make money. And based on early buzz, Wonder Woman just might be great. So, I’m going to be optimistic.

Ceiling: $820 Million Worldwide

Floor: $450 Million Worldwide

Matthew Kelly: I’ve been looking at early MCU films for some reference. Captain America: The First Avenger didn’t crack $400 Million globally(which blew my mind). Thor got around $600 million. I think Wonder Woman will beat that.

The DCEU is a different story.Man of Steel made $660 Million global and BvS made $860 Million. I will put Wonder Woman closer to Man of Steel but slightly higher. I am betting on $700 Million globally.

Ceiling: $900 Million
Floor: $600 Million

Daniel Cohen: It’s tough to call Chris Pine a Scene Stealer, as he’s the second most important character in the film. We got more of a glimpse of one of the villains, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison, and she definitely intrigued me. I could see her having some stand out moments.

Marisa Carpico: Elena Anaya’s Doctor Maru, though this is probably wishful thinking. Realistically, we all know it’s going to be Robin Wright’s General Antiope.

Matthew Kelly: Can the main character steal her own scenes? Based on what I’ve seen in trailers, it seems like Gal is going to have to wrestle the attention away from charisma magnet Chris Pine. If she manages that, I am calling her the scene stealer. If not, Lucius Malfoy is hiding somewhere in this movie. I have a feeling he is going to do some interesting things that will leave fans talking.

Daniel Cohen: No more trailers. No more clips. No more images. Cue the Hans Zimmer Wonder Woman theme and let’s get to the damn theater.

Anticipation Level: 4.5 Invisible Jets out of 5

Marisa Carpico: As I said, my hopes for this film are dangerously high. So, my disappointment is almost guaranteed. However, I’m going to use the early, positive buzz to keep me from having a nervous breakdown before I get to see the movie Thursday night. And if it’s bad, I’ll silently exit the theater, spend all my money on a boat and then sail off into the night in search of Themyscira. No big deal.

Anticipation Level: 5 Invisible Jets out of 5

Matthew Kelly: I’m pretty excited. Don’t get me wrong. I just think I’m more excited that a Wonder Woman movie exists than I am to see it. She is such an important hero who has been a part of so many great stories. I am a huge fan of the Justice League show and she was an indispensable part of it, stationed right between Superman’s dorkyness and Batman’s moping. And the point has been made a bazillion times but she is going to inspire a generation of young women the same way that Spider-man and Wolverine inspired me. What a time to be alive.

Hype to see it: 4

Hype that it exists: 5

Final Score: 14 Invisible Jets out of 15 Invisible Jets

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

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