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Why Wonder Woman is a Huge Win For Women in Hollywood

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It was a huge weekend for women, both in this universe and the DC Comics one. Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman, which came out on Friday and made an estimated $100.5 million over the weekend, became only the second female director ever to make a movie with a budget of more than $100 million. She also now holds the record for biggest opening weekend for a female director. Sam Taylor-Johnson previously held it for Fifty Shades of Grey, which opened with $85.1 million in 2015. This is a game changer for female directors.

It seems that everything came together for Wonder Woman. Clearly if ever there was a need for a strong female character who is also a pacifist, it was now. "It's about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world," Diana Price (played by the absolutely stunning Gal Gadot) AKA Wonder Woman tells Steve Trevor (Chris Pine.) "I feel that I’ve got the opportunity to set a great role model for girls to look up to a strong, active, compassionate, loving, positive woman and I think it’s so important," Gadot said in a recent interview. "It’s about time that somebody will do that and I’m very privileged and honored to be the one."

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o even fan girled out over the film. She wrote on Instagram, "I just left the theater and KNOW for CERTAIN that the GODS have seen fit to BLESS us with #WONDERWOMAN. W.O.W. It is a superhero movie like none I have ever seen. She continued, "Director #PattyJenkins IS NOT PLAYING AROUND, as she gives us some AMAZON REALNESS in an exquisitely directed story. Chris Pine is irresistable. The score is KILLER. And it is the type of film that I think you can enjoy over and over. This movie definitely goes down as a classic in its genre for me." Wow. Get this girl in the sequel.

However, this film was not made over night. It took years of convincing by Jenkins as studio heads continued to emphasize that comic book heroes are only appreciated by a young male audience and don't want to see a female protagonist. Box office bombs Catwoman and Elektra didn't help the case. But with the recent rise of films with female heroines literally leading revolutions (The Hunger Games, Divergence) an audience, many of them women,  is clearly yearning for this. And they will get their butts in the seat as 52 percent of Wonder Woman's opening weekend audience was women. They also turned up to see the strong female characters in Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Avengers. 

But now what this film can do is show that not only can a female led blockbuster kill it at the box office but a woman can also helm it and bring it to its glory. According to a recent study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women filmmakers comprised only 7 percent of directors working on last year’s top 250 domestic-grossing films . This number has not changed much since 1998 (in fact, it went down) but Wonder Woman just knocked down a major wall for women and she didn't even need her sword to do it. Though we will take that awesome head piece.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff

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