Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” is set to earn over $650 million in box office sales by the end of this weekend, and is positioned to become the highest-earning live-action film of all time by a female director.
The superhero movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, is on track to finish the weekend with as much as $655 million and to possibly become one of the top-grossing film of 2017.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will likely remain up top with over $846 million. Other expected top earners include “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “Despicable Me 3” and’ “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
By Wednesday, “Wonder Woman” had raked in $601.6 million, including $289.2 million domestically and $312.4 million internationally, and it is set to surpass the $665.7 million garnered by 2011’s animated sequel “Kung Fu Panda 2” by female director Jennifer Yuh Nelson.
The super-heroine movie’s phenomenal showing and good reviews have topped all expectations.
Starring Israeli Gadot as the Amazonian warrior princess, “Wonder Woman” is the rare female-led film in an overwhelmingly male superhero landscape.
It is proving a huge hit with moviegoers, earning a CinemaScore of A and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92 percent. While skewing somewhat female, it drew a fairly evenly split audience. Warner Bros. said 52% of the audience was female and 48% male.
“It shows that superhero movies aren’t just about men. They’re about women as well,” said Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros. “All the noise about Patty Jenkins breaking the glass ceiling for directors, I think that added to it as well.”
Reviewers were overwhelmingly positive about the film, with many gushing over Gadot as “electric” and an “inspired choice” for the role.
Gadot, 32, a former Miss Israel, was born in Rosh Ha’ayin, the daughter of a teacher and an engineer; her mother’s parents were Holocaust survivors. A former model, she is married with two daughters.
The film centers on the backstory of Amazon warrior Diana Prince, born on the all-female island of Themyscira, and her mission to help save the world during World War I.
The film has been banned in Lebanon because of its Israeli star.
Jenkins, who previously directed 2003’s “Monster” starring Charlize Theron, now holds the record for biggest domestic opening for a female director. The previous mark was Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” with $85.1 million in 2015.
“Wonder Woman” also represents a turning point for Warner Bros. and DC Comics, which have together struggled in recent years to match the Marvel-Disney juggernaut.
In the US, Wonder Woman is headed toward an earning range of $350 million, making it the “biggest DCU release in North America, topping the North American totals of ‘Man of Steel’ ($291 million), ‘Batman v Superman’ (330 million), and ‘Suicide Squad’ ($325 million),” according to Forbes.