Bangkok Post

Wonder Woman conquers milestone with B3.4bn take


Wonder Woman conquered milestones and movie myths at North American cinemas, where the Patty Jenkins-directed superhero film powered its way to a US$100.5 million (3.4 billion baht) debut last weekend and became the biggest blockbuste­r ever directed by a woman.

The well-reviewed movie easily surpassed industry expectatio­ns with one of the summer’s biggest debuts, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian warrior princess, Wonder Woman is the rare — and most successful — female-led film in an overwhelmi­ngly male superhero landscape.

It proved a hit with moviegoers, earning an A CinemaScor­e. While skewing somewhat female, it drew a fairly evenly split audience. Warner Bros said 52% of the audience was female and 48% male. Wonder Woman added $122.5 million internatio­nally, including $38 million in China.

“It shows that superhero movies aren’t just about men. They’re about women as well,” said Jeff Goldstein, distributi­on chief for Warner Bros. “All the noise about Patty Jenkins breaking the glass ceiling for directors, I think that added to it, as well.”

Women have long struggled to get behind the camera of Hollywood’s biggest production­s. Female directors accounted for just 9% of the 250 top-grossing movies in North America in 2015 and only 7% in 2016.

Jenkins, who previously directed 2003’s Monster starring Charlize Theron, now holds the record for biggest domestic opening for a female director. The previous mark was Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades Of Grey, with $85.1 million in 2015.

Some still had issues with Wonder Woman.

Online critics complained of gender inequality after the Alamo Drafthouse scheduled a handful of female-only screenings across the country. Lebanon banned the film because Gadot is Israeli.

Neverthele­ss, Wonder Woman represents a turning point for Warner Bros and DC Comics, which have together struggled in recent years to match the Marvel-Disney juggernaut. While Wonder Woman didn’t match the box office might of Batman v. Superman

(a $166 million opening) or Suicide Squad

($133.7 million), it was much better-received than those roundly derided releases. “This is a dramatic step in the right direction,” Goldstein said. “We’ve heard fans. We’ve heard critics. These properties are very complicate­d and beloved. To get it right, it takes a lot of work. I think on this movie, all of us got it right.”

Last week’s top film, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, slid dramatical­ly to $21.6 million in its second week. It landed in third place, behind Fox’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. The animated release, in which a pair of students make their principal think he’s a superhero by hypnotisin­g him, opened with $23.5 million.

But Pirates still sails well overseas. It’s made $386.6 million internatio­nally, driving the Disney sequel to more than $500 million globally.

The success of Wonder Woman gave the summer box office a much-needed charge. Thus far, the summer season’s only blockbuste­r has been its first: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

It’s made $355.5 million in North America and $816.6 million worldwide.

Wonder Woman, though, pushed the week’s box office up 30% over the same week last year, according to comScore.

“This saves the day, at least for now, for the summer box office,” said Paul Dergarabed­ian, senior media analyst for comScore. “Heading into this weekend, the summer movie season was down about 9%, and that deficit has been cut by about half in this one weekend.”

 ??  ?? Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.

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