Patty Jenkins’ ‘Wonder Woman’ continues to break records and win battles

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Director Patty Jenkins, left, and star Gal Gadot appear on the set of "Wonder Woman." Warner Bros. photo

Director Patty Jenkins, left, and star Gal Gadot appear on the set of “Wonder Woman.” Warner Bros. photo

“Wonder Woman” keeps lassoing new records.

Patty Jenkins’ superheroic blockbuster set a new milestone on Friday, becoming the highest-grossing live-action film to be directed by a woman, according to Variety.

The superhero adventure eclipsed the $609.8 million racked up by 2008’s “Mamma Mia!,” the Abba movie musical directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

“Wonder Woman’s” Jenkins previously directed Charlize Theron to Oscar victory with her acclaimed biopic “Monster.” Although she directed episodes of television’s “Arrested Development,” “Entourage” and the Emmy-nominated pilot for “The Killing,” Jenkins had to wait 14 years after her critically heralded “Monster” before directing another feature film.

As Variety notes, Jenkins only got the “Wonder Woman” gig after the original choice, Michelle MacLaren (“The X-Files,” “Breaking Bad”) was pushed out in the wake of creative differences.

Similarly, Lloyd went on after “Mamma Mia!” to make the two-time 2011 Oscar-winning Margaret Thatcher biopic “The Iron Lady” but hasn’t helmed another film since.

As Entertainment Weekly reports, “Wonder Woman” seems on track to surpass Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which made $665.7 million worldwide, in 2011, to become the highest-grossing film directly solely by a woman.

“Frozen,” which was co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, holds the all-time record for a movie directed by a woman, with $1.3 billion worldwide.

According to Box Office Mojo, Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman” and Disney’s “Cars 3″ this weekend tied for second place behind the opening weekend Paramount’s fifth “Transformers” movie, “The Last Night,” which earned a franchise low $69.1 million over its first five days in release.

Both “Wonder Woman” and “Cars 3” finished with an estimated $25.175 million weekend, which puts the first cinematic star vehicle for Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) at  just shy of $320 million domestically.

“Wonder Woman” is now out-pacing all three of the previous DC Extended Universe films, as it passes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which had brought in $311.3 million after the same number of days in release, according to Box Office Mojo.

Jenkins’ film has already outgrossed the entire domestic run for Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.” “Wonder Woman” is about $7 million away from outgrossing the domestic run for “Suicide Squad,” and will surpass “Batman v Superman’s” $330.4 million run over the next few days. According to Box Office Mojo, that will make it the third largest DC Comics adaptation domestically, behind only “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Domestically, “Wonder Woman” is the third-highest-grossing film of the year with $289.2 million. It ranks behind “Beauty and the Beast” ($503.5 million) and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” ($376.7 million), according to Variety.

With its 92 percent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, “Wonder Woman” also is one of the best-reviewed movies of the year. I’m among the reviewers who adored the film; to read my review, click here.

Internationally, “Wonder Woman” brought in an estimated $20.5 million from 65 markets as the overseas cumulative take currently stands at $334.5 million.

Taken its domestic and overseas haul together, “Wonder Woman” has hauled in $652.9 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Jenkins hasn’t officially signed on to direct a “Wonder Woman” sequel. But in an interview with Variety, DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns said he “had a blast” working with Jenkins and is already working with the record-setting director on a treatment for a follow-up, for which they have a “cool idea.”

“Patty and I are writing the treatment right now,” Johns said. “The goal is to make another great ‘Wonder Woman’ film.”

And if they manage to make another critically acclaimed and box-office record-setting “Wonder Woman” movie, that’s good news, too.

-BAM

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