Over the course of the past few weeks, fans have taken to social media to question DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ marketing strategy for the forthcoming “Wonder Woman” film. For most, when comparing it to last year’s “Suicide Squad,” which saw a huge push in marketing well in advance of the film’s premiere, the marketing for “Wonder Woman” has been light. For fans eager to see Diana lead her own film for some time, it’s been rather frustrating, however, it appears the light marketing campaign has been intentional.
According to Time Warner chief marketing officer Kristen O’Hara, they wanted to approach the “Wonder Woman” marketing like they did with “Supergirl” on the small screen. As O’Hara explains it, the modest campaign route they took for “Supergirl” helped to establish a central female fanbase well in advance of the show’s premiere. It’s something that they’re hoping to repeat with “Wonder Woman,” with the hopes of capturing female fans and engaging with them leading up to the film’s June release.
We had a modest campaign that we were doing for the TV show Supergirl and we started to discuss, yes it was important to drive “tune into that show,” but one other amazing benefit from that campaign would be the amount of data we could collect about female superhero fans, which we hadn’t really done up to that point, and so a modest campaign generated I think 5 million female superhero fans in one week, that we were able to model over time to grow that audience leading up to 15 months later the release of the movie.
O’Hara continued by saying, “And so in the case of Wonder Woman, this is a release that we started talking about two years ago, and when we started on the path I mentioned earlier, franchise management was going to be something we looked really closely at how data could help us do better.”
It’s an interesting take on the marketing for a film like “Wonder Woman,” one that is important to not just the DC Extended Universe, but for female-fronted superhero films going forward — but one that could lead to mixed results. With Diana’s first solo film slotted between two surefire hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” it’s a curious decision on DC’s end to take a much smaller marketing approach on “Wonder Woman.”
Yet, even with marketing for the film on the lighter end, “Wonder Woman” is still expected to open to $83 million later this summer. While that’s definitely nothing to write off, should estimates hold, if “Wonder Woman” does, in fact, open to $83 million worldwide, it’ll be the lowest opening film in the DC Extended Universe thus far. For comparisons sake, “Man of Steel” opened to $116 million back in 2013, “Batman v Superman” went on to clear $166 million in its opening weekend, and “Suicide Squad” managed to open to an explosive $133 million despite its mixed reviews. Of course, should DC finally amp up its marketing, the film could very well beat initial estimates.
“Wonder Woman” tells the story of the Amazon princess who, after discovering the body of American fighter pilot Steve Trevor washed ashore on Themyscira, sets out to bring an early end to World War I.
Opening June 2, the film stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui and David Thewlis.