Patty Jenkins, the director of the latest, most talked about movie, Wonder Woman, has broken box office records for a female director after the movie enjoyed a strong opening at the weekend in cinemas.
The Warner Bros/DC film, which stars Gal Gadot, earned a global opening weekend total of $223 million (£173 million), with $100.5 millionof that figure coming from the US.
This has put Jenkins on the record for the biggest US opening by a female director, shoving aside the previous $85.2 million total set by Fifty Shades of Grey’s Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Before that, the record belonged to Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight (2008), which brought in $69.6 million in the crucial first three days.
Although Wonder Woman did not really reach the $242 million total reached by Fifty Shades of Grey at the global box office, it nonetheless, performed well in international markets.
While it debuted at number one in many countries, including China, where its $38 million total made it the fourth largest opening of all time at the country’s box office, in the UK, the film took a total of £5.82 million.
The weekend earnings of Wonder Woman comfortably puts it ahead of the lifetime grosses of previous female-fronted superhero movies, including 2004’s Catwoman, which grossed $82 million worldwide, and 2005’s Elektra, which managed $57 million.
The film also performed better at the global box office than several other successful superhero films, including both installments of Guardians of the Galaxy and the first two Iron Man and Captain America movies.
The majority of Wonder Woman’s audience was female, as is often the case with a superhero film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, women accounted for 52% of its audience, whereas previous DC and Marvel properties have counted on audiences with a male majority of 60 percent or more.
As the first solo movie for a female superhero since Jennifer Garner’s Elektra in 2005, there was plenty of obnoxious speculation as to whether Wonder Woman would sink or swim at the box office.
Wonder Woman is only the 16th superhero movie ever to break $100 million domestically in its opening weekend and beats out several major Marvel debuts, including Thor (and Thor: The Dark World), Captain America (and Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and even Iron Man.
As for its place in the fairly young DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman’s first weekend wasn’t quite as big as Man of Steel ($117 million) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million), or Suicide Squad ($133 million), but the difference in critical reception is staggering, with many critics calling it the best superhero movie since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films, or even one of the best superhero movies ever.
The film has proved popular with audiences and critics and has also received an A rating from the audience survey firm CinemaScore and currently, holds a 93% rating on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
One of the few dissenting reviews came from the Guardian’s Steve Rose, who criticised the film for its “over-earnestness, bludgeoning special effects, and a messy, often wildly implausible”.