‘Wonder Woman 3’ in the works as ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ exceeds box office projections

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in a gold suit with wings and a helmet in "Wonder Woman 1984."
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Wonder Woman 1984.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics)

Following the success of “Wonder Woman 1984,” Warner Bros. has announced plans to expedite development of the third installment in the franchise.

“Wonder Woman 3” will be written and directed by Patty Jenkins with Gal Gadot reprising her role as the Themysciran goddess, the studio said Sunday.

“We are excited to be able to continue her story with our real life Wonder Women — Gal and Patty — who will return to conclude the long-planned theatrical trilogy,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, in a statement.

“Wonder Woman 1984” — which was released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously on Friday — has exceeded the studio’s projections amid the pandemic with a North American opening of $16.7 million and a global cumulative of $85 million in ticket sales.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, only 39% of the theaters nationwide were open with limited capacity. The movie was released in more than 2,100 theaters nationwide, compared with 4,165 in 2017 for the first “Wonder Woman” film.

Private watch parties and large format screens such as IMAX and Dolby helped fuel ticket sales, Warner said.

The film, which earned a B+ CinemaScore and a 65% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, pioneered Warner Bros.‘s controversial new release plan, which will see the studio’s entire 2021 theatrical slate debut simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Traditionally, studios have waited about three months before releasing new movies into the home, but the pandemic has forced them to rethink conventional film distribution strategies as most cinemas remain closed.

According to Warner Bros., nearly half of HBO Max’s direct subscribers watched the film on the day of its release along with millions of subscribers who have access to the streaming service through cable and wireless plans. The company did not disclose how many consumers watched the movie at home but said the hours subscribers spent watching HBO Max titles more than tripled on Friday compared with a typical day last month.

“‘Wonder Woman 1984’ broke records and exceeded our expectations across all of our key viewing and subscriber metrics in its first 24 hours on the service and the interest and momentum we’re seeing indicates this will likely continue well beyond the weekend,” said Andy Forssell, executive vice president and general manager of Warner Media Direct-to-Consumer, in a statement. “During these very difficult times, it was nice to give families the option of enjoying this uplifting film at home where theater viewing wasn’t an option.”