A little over a month ago, Warner Brothers’ ‘Wonder Woman’ was predicted to open to the tune of $85 million on a budget of around $100M.  It seemed that *perhaps* audiences weren’t quite ready for a female-led super hero movie.  But interest and buzz only multiplied from there.  Thanks to early critical praise (a dazzling 93% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes), this became THE must-see movie of the early summer season, possibly siphoning off potential viewers from earlier coulda-been hits like last week’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Baywatch’.  It looks like audiences were saving their cinema cash for this latest installment of the DCEU.

wonder-woman-ew-coverAt this point, it appears that Patty Jenkins‘ superhero epic will stride closer to $101M ($226M globally), meaning that minus the cost of promotion, the film has already made back its budget.  This marks the highest opening ever for a female director, topping Sam Taylor-Johnson’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (85.1M).

In an unusual occurrence, ‘Wonder Woman’ leapt up 44% on Saturday over Friday, even with Thursday preview tallies lumped in.  (Movies usually dip on Saturday.)  The overwhelmingly positive professional reviews certainly helped, but once regular moviegoers got to see it for themselves and took to social media to echo the critics’ praises, it looks to have convinced anyone on the fence to check it out.

Also unusual, this superhero movie is drawing more females than males, 53% and mostly over the age of 25.  Women are also overall giving ‘Wonder Woman’ higher ratings and stating that they would definitely recommend it to others.

Warner Bros. domestic distribution boss Jeff Goldstein said:

“This movie resonated globally.  Wonder Woman is a woman for our time, and her message and the tone that Patty Jenkins set forth connects with now.  Sue Kroll, Blair Rich and their marketing teams did a brilliant job with this film, and our publicity team screened it early and set the pace for Wonder Women so it peaked on opening weekend.”

Actress Lupita Nyong’o (‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ’12 Years A Slave’), a real life Wonder Woman herself, posted a GLOWING reaction to the film on her Instagram account:

Ok people, I just left the theater and KNOW for CERTAIN that the GODS have seen fit to BLESS us with #WONDERWOMAN. W.O.W. It is a superhero movie like none I have ever seen. Epic. FUN. Engaging. Stylistically Captivating. Funny in an honest, not-trying-too-hard way. Witty. Smart. Perfect length. Fierce. Sensual. Just amazing. @Gal_Gadot will glue you to the screen and at the same time make you want to run to the nearest costume shop to get your W on and join the #GODESSNESS right away (W = #WomanWarriorOfTheWorld). Director #PattyJenkins IS NOT PLAYING AROUND, as she gives us some AMAZON REALNESS in an exquisitely directed story. Chris Pine is irresistable. The score is KILLER. And it is the type of film that I think you can enjoy over and over. This movie definitely goes down as a classic in its genre for me. @wonderwomanfilm #RunAndGoSeeIt #HadToGush #PromotionFromTheHeart.

A post shared by Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo) on

In other news, the #2 spot went to fellow newcomer ‘Captain Underpants’which made only a quarter of ‘Wonder Woman”s gross.  Here’s the Top Five:

  1. Wonder Woman (Warner Brothers) – $$100.5-$101M
  2. Captain Underpants (Dreamworks Animation/20th Century Fox) – $23.5M
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Disney) – $21.6M
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Disney) – $9.7M
  5. Baywatch (20th Century Fox) – $8.5M

‘Wonder Woman’s success may be causing the folks over at Marvel Studios to sigh in relief.  If Warner Brothers can score a smash with this female-led superhero movie, that only makes the path smoother for Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’ due in 2019.

As for ‘Wonder Woman’, director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are already signed on for a sequel.

Could Universal’s ‘The Mummy’ make it a wrap for ‘Wonder Woman”s reign?  We’ll see next week, when Alex Kurtzman’s franchise kick-off, starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella arrives.

Source: Deadline, Instagram