That ol’ argument that female superheroes don’t sell? Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman has given it a final death blow. Or, more accurately, around 300 million of them.
The blockbuster film, Warner Bros’ long-anticipated pitch at the genre, has pulled in a record-setting $US223 million ($300 million) across the global box office.
Not only has the film instantly recouped its $US149 million ($200 million) budget and then some, but it’s become among the biggest superhero film openings ever, Deadline reports.
The film, starring Gadot as the beloved Amazonian warrior, had a stronger opening than a number of its male-focused Marvel counterparts, including Iron Man, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America and their sequels, and DC predecessor Man of Steel.
It also broke the opening box office record for a movie directed by a woman, pulling in around $US101 million ($136 million) at the US box office alone, easily eclipsing the previous record held by Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey, which debuted to $US85.1 million in 2015.
In Hollywood where money talks, there’s belief the film’s massive response might finally end the traditional apprehension around female-led superhero blockbusters – not to mention, female leads and directors.
Ahead of the film’s opening, director Jenkins discussed the opportunity to reverse the big studios’ gender bias when it came to the genre, citing failed attempts at female superhero films like Halle Berry’s Catwoman and Jennifer Garner’s Elektra in the mid-’00s.
“Money moves the world and I think the tentpole industry started and there was a belief system, that was true for a long time, that teenage boys were driving that,” Jenkins told Business Insider last week.
“I really do think the trepidation was there were failed attempts and then that wasn’t who you were targeting for such a massive movie, so I think that has really changed.”
The industry has slowly listened to audience enthusiasm at addressing the imbalance, with a Captain Marvel movie starring Brie Larson, a Batgirl movie directed by Joss Whedon, and Gotham City Sirens, an all-female DC villains film led by Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie, among the upcoming projects.
Despite the stellar box office and strong reviews (the film’s currently at a ludicrous 93 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes), Wonder Woman’s debut was not without its predictable controversies.
At least seven official legal complaints have been filed against Austin, Texas theatre Alamo Drafthouse, after the cinema hosted a series of ‘women’s only’ screenings of the film over the weekend.
Last week, the city’s mayor went viral after replying to complaints from local men crying “reverse sexism” with a tongue-in-cheek letter mocking their “uninformed and sexist rantings”. 52% of the audience for #WonderWoman was female. Proves once again: women affect box office, men WILL watch female leads & it can make big $ pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/3mhXkmQpEg??? Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone) June 4, 2017