She has arrived! The long-awaited Wonder Woman movie finally hit theaters this weekend, and Great Hera, did it smash the dang box office.
The film brought in more than $100 million domestically, making it the biggest female-directed blockbuster of all time after overthrowing Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s done considerably well for a superhero movie, surpassing Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, and it’s also been deemed a critical success, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%, one of the highest scores for a superhero film.
In an industry where gender discrimination for female directors is widespread enough to spark a federal investigation, Wonder Woman is a trailblazer. While 80% of female directors only directed one film between 2007 and 2016, Jenkins’ last film before Wonder Woman was 2003’s Monster, which Roger Ebert named one of his favorite of the year.
Wonder Woman also brought out slightly different audience demographics than other superhero movies. While 60% of superhero movie audiences are usually male (even though there’s typically gender parity when it comes to “geek fandom,”) 52% of Wonder Woman’s audience was female. The film defied a lot of expectations, and hopefully Hollywood gatekeepers won’t allow it to be an anomaly.
But of course, behind every successful film that stars and/or is directed by a woman and/or doesn’t specifically cater to the male gaze is a small fleet of small, sad men crying “PC-CULTURE” or “NOT PATRIOTIC ENOUGH” or “KIND OF A BONER-KILLER.” Obviously, not everyone is going to love Wonder Woman, but if anything, the conversations around the film just go to show how necessary movies like Wonder Woman (and directors like Patty Jenkins) really are.