EXCLUSIVE: Despite a behemoth like Warner Bros/DC’s Justice League in the marketplace this weekend, which is poised to make north of $110 million, many are betting that Lionsgate’s Wonder overperforms.
Even though it chalked up a $740,000 Thursday night preview from 7 PM showtimes, there’s been a huge amount of advance group sales, fueled by Lionsgate’s outreach to schools. Fandango reports that Wonder is the No. 2 ticket-seller for today and the weekend, behind Justice League and beating Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok. By comparison, in advance ticket sales Wonder is beating Captain Underpants ($23.9M FSS), Middle School ($6.9M FSS) as well as all the Wimpy Kids movies at the same point in their Fandango cycle (2011’s Rodrick Rules posted the best opening in the Wimpy Kid franchise with $23.8M).
Essentially, we hear 50% of the advance ticket sales are for today, which puts Wonder around $12M at this minute over three days. But it very well could grow. Reviews are at 84% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and the Thanksgiving multiplier could be big.
Last week, tracking had Wonder at $9M, but more aggressive projections grew it to $14M. In a Fandango survey, 89% of 1,000 moviegoers said that the R.J. Palacio book had a significant impact on them, while 93% are looking for more diverse, life-affirming messages in family films. Ninety-two percent are concerned about bullying at schools.
Directed by Stephen Chbosky and starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, Wonder tells the story of young August Pullman. Born with facial differences that prevented him from attending mainstream school, he becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade.
Made for $20M, Wonder has three financing partners: Participant Media, Walden Media and TIK Films in China.