Brow Beat

Wonder Woman Breaks Box Office Records, Opens Bigger Than Any Other Film Directed by a Woman

Gal Gadot climbs the box office ladder.

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.

Wonder Woman, the latest film from Monster director Patty Jenkins, grossed $100.5 million domestically in its first weekend, the biggest opening in history for a movie directed by a woman, Variety reports. Internationally, Wonder Woman made another $122.5 million—including $38 million in China—for a total global take of $223 million. Second place for the weekend went to a superhero movie of a different sort, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which opened to $23.5 million domestically.

The previous record-holder for a movie directed by a woman was Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey, which pulled in $85 million domestically in its first weekend back in 2015. Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight rounds out the top three, with a $69.6 million opening weekend in 2008. Wonder Woman is also the biggest opening for a superhero film about a woman, but since the competition are box office bombs like Catwoman ($16.7 million), Elektra ($12.8 million) and Supergirl ($7.7 million), it beat those records by Friday night.

It’s not the biggest opening in the DC Extended Universe—both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad brought in more—but Wonder Woman, unlike past entries, is rapidly acquiring a reputation as a good movie. It remains to be seen whether this will translate to a strong second weekend—it’ll face off against The Mummy with Tom Cruise and another woman-directed film, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Megan Leavey—but it certainly won’t hurt.

Meanwhile, Hollywood continues to resist the idea of hiring women to direct movies; the most recent study from the University of Southern California’s Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative showed “no meaningful change in the prevalence of female directors across the top films from 2007 to 2016.” But after this weekend, studios have 223 million good reasons to change.