Wonder Woman 1984 released on December 25, 2020, and the reviews were rather mixed. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the movie failed to perform according to the expectations. Following social distancing, theatres around the world cannot house viewers at full capacity, but half. So this is one of the biggest reasons why Wonder Woman 1984 could not perform well. but if we talk about the film, in particular, viewers have found some issues. Previously, the outlook was not great. According to Variety, Wonder Woman 1984 earned a mere $38.5 million in 32 markets, with $18.8 million coming from China. For comparison’s sake, the 2017 Wonder Woman raked in $38 million in China in its opening weekend, eventually earning a grand total of $90.5 million.
It is very clear that if the situation would have been different and the world would have been safer, then Wonder Woman 1984 would have definitely smashed the box office and the numbers would have definitely been soaring high. With the dual HBO Max release as well, it’s likely Wonder Woman 1984 will see its domestic grosses dip below what was initially expected. It’s hard to say right now, as the holiday weekend is still days away. Wonder Woman 1984 failed to resonate with Chinese audiences because it didn’t have enough action, according to fan reviews. Lower box office numbers are understandable with the pandemic going on, but there might be more to Wonder Woman 1984’s woes with Chinese audiences. Per THR, those who have seen the film have taken to popular ticketing apps like Taopiaopiao and Maoyan to share their thoughts.
But here, let’s talk particularly about the end of the movie in regards to what it meant for the characters. There are three main characters in the movie around whom the story revolves heavily – Wonder Woman( Gal Gadot), Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). So let’s break it down with Barbara Minerva, played by Kristen Wiig.
Barbara Minerva, The Cheetah:
Barbara just wanted to be recognized. She wanted to feel like Diana (Gal Gadot), but in the reality, Diana shunned such attention and publicity and chose to live anonymously. And then when Barbara gets the power that she always wanted, she realized that it wasn’t enough and she confronted her former friend at The White House. And then, she asks Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) for another wish, i.e., to be an apex predator, hence the Cheetah.
Realizing how strong Barbara as Cheetah is now., Diana needed an edge over her enemy. Hence, she dons the Golden Armor of the legendary Amazonian warrior Asteria before heading off to take down Barbara. This leads to an all-out catfight where both combatants do serious damage to each other. Being the life-preserving cautious Wonder Woman, she does not want to harm Barbara, but she desperately wants her to renounce her wish as that was the only way that things go back to square one. But of course, Cheetah has no interest in going back to being Barbara. Armor of the legendary Amazonian warrior Asteria before heading off to take down Barbara. This leads to an all-out catfight where both combatants do serious damage to each other.
Even Patty Jenkins said that she deliberately left Cheetah’s fate ambiguous. She said,
“I have my reasons for making it ambiguous. … There were multiple reasons for doing it that way. And if it leaves you wanting more answers, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Maxwell Lord, Pedro Pascal:
Even though the Cheetah got an ambiguous ending, Lord got a good ending. By the finale, Lord basically a Genie Lamp who’s granting wishes left and right, but also takes something valuable back in return. The more wishes that Lord grants, the more power he obtains. Naturally, this is also draining his health. Diana had deduced that in order to fully stop Lord, everyone who has received a wish would have to embrace the most selfless task and rescind the given wish. Only then would Max Lord lose his power. During all this, Lord gained accede to a top-secret government satellite network that allows him to connect to every single person on the planet. As he grants almost every wish, the world turns a bit too chaotic.
Diana breaks through to Max by speaking to him about the power of truth, then uses her lasso of truth to force the megalomaniac to see the error of his ways. Diana speaks to the people of the world through Max and convinces all of them to renounce their wishes. They do, and the world begins to revert to normal. In the ned, Maxwell reunites with his son as his son only had one wish that was for his dad to return to normal, and come back to him. Max hopefully leaves his villainous ways behind him and stays on the noble and truthful path.
Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot:
What the theme of the movie is, “truth”, and the importance of taking the hardest path to victory and no shortcuts. Now if we see what Maxwell Lord and Barbara Minerva did, they basically took shortcuts by using their wishes. Diana, even though succeeds in obtaining peace and order, but only after a huge sacrifice. Diana renounces her wish, knowing it’s the only way to get back to full power. In doing so, she bids farewell, again, to her true love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). But if you know, then you know that this isn’t exactly Steve Trevor, and more a manifestation created by the Dreamstone when it was in the possession of the Smithsonian and being investigated by Diana and Barbara.
What really weird was that the Dreamstone turned Diana’s neighbor into Steve Trevor (somehow we all went along with it, because why not), then Steve convinced Diana to let him go, so she could get back the strength she’d need to defeat both Cheetah and Maxwell Lord.
Listening to Steve and looking at the bigger cause, she agreed. She convinces the world’s population to buy into the healing power of truth. She embraces the joy and happiness that comes with our day-to-day living, and inches closer to becoming that role model for humanity. By the end of the film, Diana is still hiding her secret identity, but she has triumphed over the root evil that presented itself in Wonder Woman 1984.
Then again, in the movie, Diana bumps into her neighbor (Christopher Polaha), the man whose body was assumed by Steve Trevor. Just like other failed and kids enjoying the Christmastime moment, Diana and her neighbor enjoy the moment together as well.