'Wonder Woman' Shatters Box Office With Biggest Female Director Opening. Ever.

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A box office wonder.

Wonder Woman” smashed records this weekend to become the biggest domestic opening for a female director ever. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot under Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the film grossed an estimated $100.5 million at more than 4,000 theaters domestically, according to a statement from Warner Bros. Sunday. Thursday night’s pre-show raked in $11 million alone.

Sam Taylor-Johnson previously held the record for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which opened Valentine’s Day weekend in 2015 and grossed $85 million domestically (and $94 million over the four-day President’s Day weekend). It should be noted that Lana and Lilly Wachoski, who directed “The Matrix Reloaded” — which opened May 15, 2003, and grossed $91,774,413 in its opening weekend — are also record-setting female directors. However, because both women presented as male in 2003, one should consider how their perceived gender might have affected production and distribution of the film at the time.

The Hollywood Reporter previously pegged Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” debut at $95 million in North America and upward of $100 million internationally, based on pre-release tracking.

(Photo: Frank Trapper via Getty Images)
(Photo: Frank Trapper via Getty Images)

Jenkins said she was intent on getting the character of Wonder Woman right because of what the representation of heroism means.

“I’m such a believer in the genre because I’m a believer in mankind turning stories into about what it means to be a hero and what would I do if I was a hero and how would that feel,” she told Screen Rant. “And so, you know, there is always that opportunity in any movie with a metaphor to use to make something beautiful that really touches people. And this is such an important time in the world for people to think about what kind of hero they would want to be and what we’re going to do to save this world that I was honored to get to join in the dialogue.”

And that representation matters to viewers young and old alike.

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“Wonder Woman,” which had a $149 million production budget and currently boasts a 93 percent certified-fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, had to face an uphill battle of sexism both on screen and off. From perfectly chiding “its male mudslingers with humor and grace” in the script to offering a women-only screening of the film in spite of male critics, “Wonder Woman” stands as an emblem of female empowerment.

Reaching Hollywood’s biggest opening weekend for a female director is certainly a glass-ceiling-breaking milestone, but Jenkins says there is still more that needs to be done when it comes to who gets to tell Hollywood’s stories.

“Until studios change their ways and stop only generating from within the same small group of people — and until they become interested in attracting more diverse kinds of stories and audiences — women directors will continue to be one of the many, many kind of collateral damage,” she told LeanIn. “If you are still focused on attracting young men to the box office, you will continue to hire mostly (formerly) young men to speak to them. The irony is that the data now clearly shows that this audience is no longer the most powerful in the world. Middle-aged women are. Yet the studio system still seems very slow to figure out how to shift their approach.”

After the weekend’s box office numbers came out, Twitter users wanted to remind the world that female directors and superhero fans are ― and have always been ― awesome.

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This article has been updated to address how the Wachowskis figure into the standings among record-setting female directors.

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Watch the trailer.

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What to expect: For "Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan reportedly inked the heftiest director salary in more than a decade. The World War II survival epic incorporated inventive shooting strategies using IMAX cameras, practical effects and hordes of extras, which sounds as Nolanian as they come.

Watch the trailer.

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Watch the trailer.

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Starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella and Bill Skarsgård

What to expect: Charlize Theron was stuck barking commands from behind a desk in "The Fate of the Furious," but in the punk-rock thriller "Atomic Blonde," she gets to join the action. Theron plays a first-rate spy commissioned to take down a espionage ring during the final days of the Berlin Wall. The movie is based on Antony Johnston's graphic novel "The Coldest City."

Watch the trailer.

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Watch the trailer.

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Directed by Nikolaj Arcel • Written by Nikolaj Arcel, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen

Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley and Katheryn Winnick

What to expect: The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series takes place after the final book's events, when an 11-year-old adventurer is whisked to Mid-World to help the Gunslinger save the world. Given the novels' popularity and the long gestation this film has undergone, expect "The Dark Tower" to be one of summer's defining hits.

Watch the trailer.

"Fun Mom Dinner" (Aug. 4)

Directed by Althea Jones • Written by Julie Rudd<br /><br />Starring Toni Collette, Katie Aselton, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Adam Scott, Paul Rust, Ron Huebel, Adam Levine and Paul Rudd<br /><br /><strong>What to expect: </strong>It's "Bad Moms" 2.0. You know the drill: Four tired mothers of preschoolers enjoy a night out; antics ensue.<br /><br /><i>No trailer available.</i>
Directed by Althea Jones • Written by Julie Rudd

Starring Toni Collette, Katie Aselton, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Adam Scott, Paul Rust, Ron Huebel, Adam Levine and Paul Rudd

What to expect: It's "Bad Moms" 2.0. You know the drill: Four tired mothers of preschoolers enjoy a night out; antics ensue.

No trailer available.

"Detroit" (Aug. 4)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow • Written by Mark Boal<br /><br />Starring John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Samira Wiley, Will Poulter, Jason Mitchell, Kaitlyn Dever and Jack Reynor<br /><br /><strong>What to expect: </strong>In July 1967, police raided an unlicensed bar filled with black patrons. What followed were six days of rioting that resulted in 43 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries. Kathryn Bigelow has reteamed with "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Hurt Locker" scribe Mark Boal to tell the story of one of the largest citizen revolts in U.S. history. This could be summer's Oscar contender.<br /><br /><i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmQebVSsRbA" target="_blank">Watch the trailer</a>.</i>
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow • Written by Mark Boal

Starring John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Samira Wiley, Will Poulter, Jason Mitchell, Kaitlyn Dever and Jack Reynor

What to expect: In July 1967, police raided an unlicensed bar filled with black patrons. What followed were six days of rioting that resulted in 43 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries. Kathryn Bigelow has reteamed with "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Hurt Locker" scribe Mark Boal to tell the story of one of the largest citizen revolts in U.S. history. This could be summer's Oscar contender.

Watch the trailer.

"Ingrid Goes West" (Aug. 11)

Directed by Matt Spicer • Written by David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer<br /><br />Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen and Pom Klementieff<br /><br /><strong>What to expect: </strong>A buzzy title at this year's Sundance, "Ingrid Goes West" is a fable for the Instagram age. Aubrey Plaza plays an unstable loner who moves from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles in hopes of befriending the social-media celebrity with whom she's obsessed. This low-budget dark comedy satirizes instant gratification and bad decisions.<br /><br /><i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G5l5q-DT2g" target="_blank">Watch the trailer</a>.</i>
Directed by Matt Spicer • Written by David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer

Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen and Pom Klementieff

What to expect: A buzzy title at this year's Sundance, "Ingrid Goes West" is a fable for the Instagram age. Aubrey Plaza plays an unstable loner who moves from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles in hopes of befriending the social-media celebrity with whom she's obsessed. This low-budget dark comedy satirizes instant gratification and bad decisions.

Watch the trailer.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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