"Wonder Woman" Is Set to Break a Record

June 2nd 2017

Kyle Jaeger

"Wonder Woman" is poised to shatter a box office record that has little to do with profitability.

Industry analysts expect that the superhero film, starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins, will take in more than $95 million this weekend—which would be the biggest opening weekend for a female-directed film since "Fifty Shades of Grey" premiered in 2015.

While $95 million wouldn't make "Wonder Woman" the breakout hit of 2017, critics say it'd send an important signal to Hollywood, where a lack of minority and female representation has continued to beset the entertainment industry.

Darnell Hunt, director of UCLA's Bunche Center for African American Studies and lead author of the department's annual Hollywood Diversity Report, said that the success of "Wonder Woman" would force Hollywood to confront uncomfortable questions.

"It's so rare that the industry has entrusted to women directors these big films," Hunt told ATTN:. "We're talking about an area that is woefully devoid of inclusion for women—and to have a film like 'Wonder Woman' do extremely well shows that there's a need for the sensibilities that a woman director can bring to a film like this and that there's an audience for this type of work."

The 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report found that although women "posted gains" in several film categories, "they remained underrepresented on every front in 2014-2015" compared to their male counterparts. For example, twice as many men star in lead roles in films than women, and they're outnumbered six-to-one when it comes to directing roles.

"Wonder Woman"—which features both a female lead and a female director—is an outlier in that respect. And so far it has received positive acclaim from critics—with a 93 percent score on the film review site Rotten Tomatoes.

"That makes it easily the best reviewed film of Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe, which includes three critically panned blockbusters, 2013's 'Man of Steel,' 2016's 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,' and 2016's 'Suicide Squad,'" CNN reported. It also makes 'Wonder Woman' one of the best reviewed superhero films of all time."

"The thing that struck me—it just hit me over the head when I saw this film—I said, 'This is the type of film that Hollywood needs to make," Hunt said. "It's resonating with audiences, and I think it will."