Boys only club no more
After years of poorly reviewed films, it seems like the DC Universe has finally struck gold with Wonder Woman – and all they needed was their own cinematic superheroine. Wonder Woman’s director Patty Jenkins has officially made history with the comic book character, breaking the record for the biggest domestic opening for female directors ever.
The film raked in USD$100.5 million at over 4000 theatres in the US, which is an insane number when you think about the fact that figure doesn’t include its international profits. Factoring those in, the Gal Godot-fronted flick made an incredible USD$223 million globally. It’s not too shabby for a picture that had a production budget of USD$150 million, recouping its expenses and making a tidy profit in just one weekend.
In the UK and Ireland alone, Wonder Woman has since raked in a tidy £6,180,000. Josh Berger, the President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK, said in a press release, ‘Patty Jenkins and her talented cast and crew shot ‘Wonder Woman’ in the UK and we’re glad to see the film connect in such a big way with moviegoers nationwide.’
A lot of eyes were on Patty Jenkins and her incarnation of the Amazonian princess, especially since it’s the first solo onscreen outing since Lynda Carter donned the stars and lasso back in the 70s. (We don’t talk about the botched 2011 pilot that could have been.) The pressure was on and Patty knew it especially as she’d be the first woman to ever direct a superhero film, which she talked about in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
She said, ‘I can’t take on the history of 50 percent of the population just because I’m a woman. I’m just trying to make the greatest version of Wonder Woman that I can for the people who love the character as much as I do and hope that the movie lives up to all the pressure that’s on it.’
Patty Jenkins blew past a previous record held by Lana and Lilly Wachowski for their film The Matrix Reloaded, which grossed USD$91,774,413 domestically in its opening weekend. Her production budget also topped Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s jaw-dropping fund of USD$100 million for K-19 the Windowmaker, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see Patty pave the way for more women behind the camera.
Warner Bros. took a bit of a gamble on her, as previously Patty’s most notable credits include an episode of Arrested Development, a couple of pilot episodes for The Killing and the indie flick Monster with Charlize Theron (who wound up winning an Oscar for her performance).
She was also previously attached to Thor: The Dark World, but revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she backed out of the troubled production because, ‘I thought, ‘If I take this, it’ll be a big disservice to women. If I take this knowing it’s going to be trouble and then it looks like it was me, that’s going to be a problem. If they do it with a man, it will be yet another mistake that the studio made. But with me, it’s going to look like I dropped the ball, and it’s going to send a very bad message [about female directors].’
It’s a pretty great time for women in film, as Lost in Translation director Sofia Coppola also recently took home the best director prize at Cannes 2017 for The Beguiled – making her the second woman ever to do so.
Critics have been raving about Wonder Woman and it’s earned a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a nice change from universally panned DC films like Man of Steel (55%) and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (27%).
That said, not everybody has been enamoured with the Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman and the actress’ Israeli heritage has led to it being banned in Lebanon. Godot previously served mandatory military service in the Israeli Defence Force for two years and also has openly supported her fellow service members on social media, which fuelled the boycott as Israeli-Lebanon military tensions continue to bubble over.
Despite the fact that Wonder Woman’s lost out on the Lebanese box office, we think the production will be just fine. More ladies onscreen and off, please.