In stark contrast to other blockbuster films, a new study shows that much of Wonder Woman's success was due to female and older audience members. When it comes to superhero movies, audiences tend to skew young and male. Though older audiences, families, and female moviegoers come out in large amounts, men aged 18–25 tend to edge out other viewers. Part of this is down to the characters, with most superhero movies serving as male wish fulfillment. In recent years, however, that trend has begun to change -- and audiences are responding.
Though the DCEU has scored big at the box office with their previous three films, Wonder Woman has blown them out of the water in domestic tickets sales. Even more impressive, critics have showered the film in praise. Though it features some familiar beats, the movie's focus on hope, optimism, and a powerful female lead is still resonating with fans worldwide. The film has already passed $700 million at the global box office in just a little over a month, and its run isn't done yet. And while plenty of male movies fans came out to see Princess Diana's solo debut, they weren't the only group helping the film achieve success.
Variety published the results of a new study focusing on the demographics of Wonder Woman's audience and some interesting data has emerged. For one, the film has managed to become the only tentpole film to reach parity between male and female audiences, outshining even The Force Awakens. With the average superhero film featuring an audience that's 62 percent male, the even split between men and women is further proof that audiences will flock to films that represent them.
Along with the increase in female audience members, the data also shows an above average amount of viewers over 50. As word of mouth spread for Wonder Woman, more and more older audience members came out. Likewise, there was an increase in families seeing the film and infrequent moviegoers (described as those who only see 1–4 films a year).
All told, this data not only highlights Wonder Woman's appeal to a variety of audiences, but the film's rare ability to gain new viewers over time. While each new week of the film's release naturally saw a drop off, the numbers show it was far less than a typical tentpole. Even then, it was mostly a decrease of young male viewers, while other demos began seeing the film more and more.
With Hollywood executives continually making excuses for why women can't lead action films and tentpoles, this data is yet another nail in that coffin. Not only have most female-led blockbusters done well at the box office, but movies like Wonder Woman actively attract audiences that usually shun superhero and genre films. Thanks to the success of Wonder Woman, the DCEU has now passed $3 billion globally. All in all, it's no wonder Patty Jenkins will be back for the inevitable sequel.
As Wonder Woman is still in theaters, we'll likely learn more about its continued success in the weeks to come so stay tuned.
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020