(Disclaimer: this article was written 2 weeks ago. It’s being published now, as our site was offline due to our big migration.)
Have you seen the latest Wonder Woman trailer yet? TV Spot? Merchandise tie-in? If you haven’t, never fear, there haven’t been any. DC and Warner Bros. have been abnormally quiet about the superhero movie that would hopefully bring some respectability back to their brand. There are a number of reasons to get it in front of many eyes as possible — Gal Gadot isn’t exactly a household name and films by women directors have never scored the big box office numbers.
How exactly is the advertising lacking? A cursory glance at the Warner Bros. Youtube page and it’s easy to see how much effort has been in getting the word out about Wonder Woman. This is a film that launches in less than a month! According to Gal Gadot’s Twitter page, who seems to be the only person who cares that this a film that is happening soon, she is posting a countdown and new posters almost every day. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for her to look at this marketing campaign. Remember that this film comes out on June 2nd.
DC made sure there were Doritos for Batman v Superman. Where is Wonder Woman’s Doritos?
In an effort to help DC in their advertising, who is Wonder Woman? To common folk, she is known as Princess Diana of Themyscira and she has really cool gadgets like a Lasso of Truth and an Invisible Jet. Comic book fans would consider her in the same breath of importance as Batman and Superman, and well she had a successful TV series in the 1970s and a not so successful (as in never aired) TV pilot in 20011. Perhaps more importantly, she was the best part of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. And Zack Snyder probably had the least amount of involvement with her solo film outing. That’s important because Snyder was responsible for guiding Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, and the upcoming Justice League movie. With all this promise what could DC possibly be afraid of?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
If you don’t think that Warner Bros. is aware that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is a thing, then I don’t know what to tell you. Guardians are everywhere right now. It has been rolling out in theaters for the last millennium and even though it hasn’t officially hit American multiplexes, anticipation is at an all-time high. There is no question that Guardians of the Galaxy will be one of the most successful films of 2017 and Warner Bros. wants to stay out of its way. Trying to advertise another superhero film at the same time would certainly muddy the advertising water. As much as fans like to pretend it is a Marvel VS DC world, a mass majority of audiences will see both because they are superhero films. Warner Bros. needs to avoid comparisons and needs to lay low for the next two weeks. There should be a massive marketing buy within the last two weeks though if they have any hope of selling this movie.
Warner Bros. has put all the eggs in Zack Snyder’s basket. Regardless of the quality of these films, they have still been making plenty of money. As much as we would like to pretend Wonder Woman is going to be in a different vein than Snyder’s films, she is tied to that cinematic universe. There’s only so much Wonder Woman can be different than the films that have come before. If somehow Justice League doesn’t work out, expect Warner Bros. to reboot Wonder Woman and the Gal Gadot experiment will be over.
Because of pressure from fans and the media, Warner Bros. took a gamble and hired Patty Jenkins to direct Wonder Woman. Yes, this is a gamble in 2017, because women directors are not hired to direct films of this budget. Even Marvel was afraid when they hired a pair to direct Captain Marvel instead of a woman alone. Executives at Warner Bros. are watching the tracking numbers and are aware of the history of women directed films (it’s not good, mostly because there haven’t been many chances.) As reported by /Film, Wonder Woman is on track for the lowest opening in the current DCEU. Yes, that is also considering Suicide Squad which featured many character movie audiences weren’t familiar with. Finally, maybe the test audiences for Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman have not pleased Warner Bros. completely. Those results we may never know, but maybe they don’t want to invest more money in a movie they aren’t sure is going to perform.
There are obviously many reasons why the marketing as not been as intense as usual. It’s just kind of hard to see Warner Bros. missing an untapped audience for this film. According to Uproxx, there isn’t even much merchandising out there for Wonder Woman yet. Maybe a handful of Funko Pops and some light clothing marketing at Hot Topic. Wonder Woman has the potential to excite a large audience who feels that superhero movies do not cater to them. We’ve seen supermen countless times on screen, it is exciting to see a Wonder Woman.