Wonder Woman was expected to retell the story of an icon to a modern audience, and now the character is officially a record breaker for women at the box office. The new DC superhero flick raked in $100.5 million domestically in its opening weekend at the box office, making it the biggest debut weekend for a movie directed by a woman.
It's a massive achievement for director Patty Jenkins, whose only box office feature prior to Wonder Woman was 2003's highly-acclaimed Monster. The $100.5 million debut pushed Wonder Woman past the previous record holder, Fifty Shades of Grey, by a comfortable $15 million margin. It also compares favorably to other big superhero debuts, coming in ahead of Iron Man (98.6 million), Doctor Strange ($85 million), and Thor ($65.7 million).
Prior to the film's release, Jenkins stressed how important it was to get the character right for her starring moment, and credited her Wonder Woman fandom for helping make this all possible.
"I am a fan of Wonder Woman and I’m a fan of the genre," said Jenkins. "She’s never had a film before and that any superhero film, particularly an origin story, can be great. Those two things set the bar so high for me where I was like, 'Then we must try for great.'"
Women, in particular, seemed to respond to Gal Gadot's depiction of the titular character. According to numbers provided by Warner Bros., a majority of moviegoers on opening day were women, which the studio claims is a first for a modern Marvel or DC film. Wonder Woman's early success can also be tied to the critical acclaim; the movie currently holds a 93 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which helps separate it from other films in the DC universe that opened strong but were met with heavy criticism.
Wonder Woman has a chance to continue dominating at the box office in the early summer window. With critics and fans alike lining up to sing the praises of the new movie, DC may have finally struck gold after years of trying to get the superhero formula right.