Gal Gadot at the premiere of ''Wonder Woman'' in Los Angeles. / REUTERS

'Wonder Woman' Shatters Box Office Record for Female Director

Director Patty Jenkins’ film “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot has made history by breaking the domestic opening weekend record for a movie directed by a woman. The film has earned at least $100.5 million about five times the average opening gross among all movies that opened in 2017.


“Wonder Woman” opened nationwide on Friday. It is distributed by Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner Inc. (No. 37 on the 2017 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list). Warner Bros. controls DC Entertainment, the rights holder for “Wonder Woman” comics.

The international earnings of $122.5 million from 55 markets brings the movie’s global opening to $223 million, according to Variety, for the third largest ever opening for a DC Comics film. According to Barron’s, the successful opening could fuel shares of Time Warner to a 20 percent stock return over the coming year, Reuters reports.

“Wonder Woman”had the third highest opening this year, behind “Beauty and the Beast” ($175million) and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” ($147 million).

It alsohad a larger domestic opening than “Iron Man” ($98.6 million), and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” ($85.1 million), which previously held the record for the best domestic opening for a female director.

“[‘Wonder Woman’] resonated globally,” Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein told Deadline in an interview. “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 Woman so it peaked on opening weekend.”

Leading up to the film’s release, Warner Bros. used marketing and publicity programs on social media targeted at fans such as the hashtag initiatives #WonderWednesdays, #WWFanArt and #SheIsWonderWoman.

Women-Only Screenings Controversy

Women have been a driving force behind the film’s success. And Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a chain of movie theaters with 26 screens around the country, has tapped into the “Wonder Woman” frenzy by scheduling women-only screenings for June 6.

“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz. And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it,” according to the movie chain’s announcement that was posted on its Alamo Drafthouse Austin Facebook on May 24.

Some men commented on Facebook that the women-only screenings are discriminatory.

“Lots of luck,” Darrell Logan, a commenter, said. “You are showing just how bias[ed] the world is. June 6 is most likely the most male day as it is the D-Day Anniversary and you choose to have a ladies only viewing. Perhaps all the males should say BOYCOTT.”

“Could you imagine the anger and outrage from the liberal staff of Alamo if Trump held an all male screening at the white house or even if another theatre did an all male screening” commenter Bradley Lucio said.

According to Bloomberg News, as of March, women have been named to 27 percent of the appointed roles in the Trump administration.Soapproximately 73 percent, about 3 out of 4, of Trump’s administration consists of men.

In the U.S. labor force women account for 47 percent of employees.

Alt-right activist Jack Posobiec went so far as to file a formal complaint on May 31 with the New York City Human Rights Commission against the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Brooklyn, N.Y., and TV personality Carson Daly, who reportedly talked about the screening on NBC’s “Today.”

Before Posobiec began fighting what he perceives as “Wonder Woman”-based injustice, he was one of the alt-right activists in the U.S. that tried to sway the French presidential vote in favor of Marine Le Penby aiding a hacking attack against her rival, Emmanuel Macron.

“Jack Posobiec, a journalist with the far-right news outlet The Rebel, was the first to use the hashtag [#MacronLeaks] with a link to the hacked documents online, which was then shared more widely by WikiLeaks,” according to a New York Times article published in May. “Mr. Posobiec remains the second-most mentioned individual on Twitter in connection with the hashtag behind WikiLeaks, according to a review of the past 100,000 Twitter posts published since late Friday.”

The campaign against the women-only screenings of “Wonder Woman” includes Stephen Clark, a law professor at Albany Law School.

After researching the Austin, Texas, city code, Clark filed an administrative charge with the city’s Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office against the Alamo Drafthouse, which is headquartered in Austin.

He alleged that “the Drafthouse’s women-only event as it was described in the theater’s advertising discriminated against male customers based on their gender,” according to The Washington Post.

Because the theater stated it would staff only women at the events, Clark also alleged that the Drafthouse was illegally engaging in employment discrimination.

“It’s the principle of the thing,” he told The Post. “I’m a gay man, and I’ve studied and taught gay rights for years. Our gay bars have long said that you do not exclude people because they’re gay or straight or transgender you just can’t do that for any reason.”

“We have to deal with the bachelorette parties that come to the gay bar,” he added.

On Wednesday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler slammed an email by Richard A. Amenduri, who bashed the city and women because of Alamo Drafthouse’s all-women screenings.

Amenduri’s email began: “I hope every man will boycott Austin and do what he can to diminish Austin and to cause damage to the city’s image.”

He also stated, “Achievements by the second rate gender pale in comparison to virtually everything great in human history was accomplished by men, not women.”

Mayor Adler tweeted a photo of himself with his daughter, Sarah, on Sunday with the hashtag #WonderWoman. He captioned the photo, “Sunday at the movies with one of my super heroes, Sarah.”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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