Proving that audiences were clamoring for a well-written, female-driven superhero flick, Wonder Woman has lassoed the box office competition. The Gal Gadot vehicle pulled in an impressive $100.5 million to top the weekend’s domestic box office. Along the way to the top spot, the blockbuster has managed to break a few records. Director Patty Jenkins now owns two records – best preview night by a female director and best domestic opening by a female director.
The remarkable domestic box office showing by Wonder Woman comes only one week after the worst Memorial Day domestic box office numbers in 20 years. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales claimed the top spot, but still missed initial projections. The fifth film in the Pirates series came up short of the studio’s $80-85 million projection, raking in $78 million over the holiday weekend. Meanwhile, Baywatch flopped. The Dwayne Johnson film was expected to bring in around $40 million. Instead, it debuted in third place with a paltry $23 million for the four-day weekend.
As Deadline pointed out, the success and struggles of each of these three films could potentially be traced back to critics’ reviews, specifically Rotten Tomatoes. While Wonder Woman currently enjoys a Certified Fresh rating of 94 percent, Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch are labeled rotten, with ratings of 29 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
With such a successful opening, fans are already talking about a Wonder Woman sequel. While Warner Bros. has not confirmed a sequel yet, ComicBook has detailed possible story lines. (ComicBook’s report contains major spoilers for Wonder Woman.)
While it’s no surprise that Gal Gadot has already signed on for a potential Wonder Woman sequel, Patty Jenkins revealed that she is also under contract for a second film. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director indicated that she would gladly re-team with Gadot for another Wonder Woman film, as long as the script is up to par.
“What I never want to do is start phoning it in and making things just to show that I can keep my foot in the door and do big movies. I don’t care about that at all. I just want to make great movies.”
While Jenkins was definitely a major reason for the film’s success, Collider’s Matt Goldberg pointed out that being contractually obligated to a film is a long way from actually working on the film.
“While she sounds eager to return to tell another story about Diana Prince, it’s always possible that creative differences could rear their ugly head. Deadpool helmer Tim Miller was contractually obligated to give Fox another picture, and it was assumed it would be Deadpool 2. When that didn’t work out, he left Deadpool 2.”
Considering how long it took for the feature film to come to fruition, Warner Bros. should do all it can to ensure that Jenkins remains a part of the Wonder Woman team.
In 1996, Entertainment Weekly casually mentioned that Warner Bros. had tapped Ivan Reitman to produce and possibly directly a Wonder Woman film. Since then, numerous Hollywood heavyweights, from Joel Silver to Joss Whedon, have been attached to the film’s production side. Nineteen years after that first report, Patty Jenkins signed on to helm the future blockbuster.
Finding the right director for the project wasn’t the only problem Warner Bros. faced. Any actress attempting to take on the role of Diana Prince would have to separate their version of Wonder Woman from the woman who donned the red, white, and blue costume for three seasons – Lynda Carter. For many fans, Carter will always be Wonder Woman. Prior to Gadot’s addition to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, several actresses, ranging from Sandra Bullock to Lucy Lawless, found themselves rumored to be in the running for the iconic role. However, it was Gadot who received the stamp of approval from Carter.
Wonder Woman’s record-breaking opening bodes well for rival Marvel Studios, which will roll out its own female superhero film. Captain Marvel is scheduled to hit theaters in 2019, with Brie Larson in the title role.
Tell us! Did you catch Wonder Woman in theaters this weekend? Are you excited for a possible sequel? Are you Team DC or Team Marvel?
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]