As Wonder Woman roared into cinemas this weekend, a collective sigh certainly must have taken hold over at Warner Bros. For years now, the studio has been attempting to build a DC Comics cinematic universe to match the popular and critical heights experienced from rival Marvel. Yet, though Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad all earned mighty profits (the latter even winning an Oscar for its make-up and hairstyling), critics and fans have hemmed and hawed over their merits.
Wonder Woman appears to have changed the course for the DC Comics cinematic universe, earning near unanimous raves from critics, a coveted “A” grade from CinemaScore, as well as a mighty $100.5 million at the domestic box office in its first weekend of the release; worldwide the film has minted over $220 million. More so, the long-gestating standalone spectacle centering of DC Comics’ most beloved female superhero has broken a pivotal glass ceiling: studios and distributors can no longer cling to the idea that female-centered superhero takes can’t be successful, they just must be made credibly. Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman, also now holds the distinction of being the first female director to anchor such a title and has exclusive bragging rights to the highest opening gross for a female-directed feature (for now at least).
In reference to the achievement, Zack Snyder, the director of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and the forthcoming Justice League as well as being one of the chief architects of the DC Comics reboot, offered but one word: “Proud.” He did so, along with the picture below, via his Vero account.
Snyder helped to introduced Gal Gadot’s iteration of the classic Amazonian princess character in last year’s Batman v Superman and served as a co-writer of Wonder Woman. It’s one of the first remarks made by the director since he (as well as his wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder) stepped away from the limelight to mourn the loss of their daughter this past March. It was recently announced that because of that sad news, Joss Whedon would be stepping in for Snyder to work through the remainder of Justice League‘s post-production schedule.
On a positive light, it looks like Wonder Woman‘s success may provide an illuminating moment for the industry as a whole. Famously, a film version of Wonder Woman has been decades in the making – Whedon himself even tried to get one off the ground years before he made The Avengers a reality – as has uncomfortable realities in relations to gender biases; it’s notable that startlingly few female-led superhero films have come into light and of those none have experienced the critical/commercial reception of Wonder Woman.
Here’s some quick takes around Hollywood:
I got to see Wonder Woman by myself weeks ago so shut up there’s already been a man-only screening.
Oh and it’s a godddamn delight. pic.twitter.com/PHWQWxcIwN
— Joss Whedon (@joss) June 2, 2017
Many congrats to @PattyJenks and her awesome Wonder Woman on what looks to be an over 100 million opening weekend!
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 3, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 3, 2017
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) June 3, 2017
— Bryce Dallas Howard (@BryceDHoward) June 4, 2017