Our children won’t believe us when we tell them that there used to be doubt over whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work at the box office. Even at present, the days of studio executive hand-wringing over whether audiences would deign to shell out their precious $11.75 to see a film in which a woman — who was not a man — did superhero things feel favorably remote. For director Patty Jenkins and her marble-carved star Gal Gadot have proven beyond all debate and rage-choked internet commenting that women are perfectly capable of making a whole mess of money during blockbuster season. And now it’s official.
When Wonder Woman dominated the box office on its opening weekend (and continued to do so over many more), two questions were on everyone’s minds: Would there be a Wonder Woman 2, and would Patty Jenkins come back to direct it? She hadn’t signed a multiple-film contract, so about a month ago it looked oddly up in the air for her. But she has since announced that she’s working on the sequel treatment, and recently said that yes, she would indeed be back at the helm of Wonder Woman 2.
With the right audience, darkness definitely sells. Hell, Universal is about to star a whole “Dark Universe.” Clearly, some folks do want grit and grimness and dudes screaming at each other and being angry and miserable. To each his own.
If you only look at the surface numbers, this was a pretty predictable week at the box office. Wonder Woman did well, The Mummy did not, and everything else shook out accordingly. That being said, there’s some pretty interesting narratives emerging in the how and why of this weekend’s box office report. Let’s take a look at the rankings as of Sunday afternoon and dive into some of the specifics: