A new study illustrates the historic success that Wonder Woman is bringing to the DC Extended Universe. Recent DCEU releases like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were financially successful but didn’t quite resonate with critics like DC and Warner Bros. ostensibly hoped. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, meanwhile, appears to be a watershed moment for the DCEU, as it rides a hugely positive critical response into what’s expected to be a massive opening weekend at the box office.

Warner Bros. made a bold move by putting Jenkins in the director’s chair of a big-budget production and thrusting Gal Gadot into the leading role. But it the studio’s bet is paying off big-time, as Wonder Woman is the DCEU’s biggest critical success to date and is poised to be one of the year’s biggest moneymakers. Wonder Woman represents a giant leap forward for the DCEU – and a new study shows that the leap is historic in nature.

Five Thirty Eight published the new analysis on Friday to show three ways how the movie has “already made history.” The report’s “main takeaway” is that Wonder Woman represents the greatest-ever leap in “franchise reputation” from one movie to the next among movies that weren’t direct sequels. The statistical jump is based on Wonder Woman’s certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, which at 94 percent (as of Saturday) is a significant jump from the critically disappointing Suicide Squad. Only the leaps made by Logan and 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, both direct sequels, can even compare to Wonder Woman, according to the report.

Wonder Woman Tank Poster Cropped Wonder Woman Gives DCEU Huge Statistical Jump in Franchise Reputation

Another major takeaway from Five Thirty Eight’s study is that Jenkins is on track to shatter records for female directors. Melissa Silverstein, founder of advocacy group Women in Hollywood, tells Five Thirty Eight that Wonder Woman will easily have the highest-grossing opening for a female director. The third big takeaway from the study is that Wonder Woman will easily be one of the most profitable movies of the past 20 years in the U.S. to feature a female lead, a list led by Felicity Jones’ starring turn in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($532.2 million).

Based on early reports that Wonder Woman will earn at least $95 million in the U.S. (and could break $100 million) in its opening weekend, it appears that Gadot could have a real chance at unseating Jones as the most bankable female lead of the past 20 years. Five Thirty Eight’s study concludes that the DCEU has finally “made a movie people actually want to see” – more specifically, a movie that is memorable enough to want to see repeatedly. Regardless of where Wonder Woman goes from here, it’s clear that the movie is turning the DCEU around in a major way.

Wonder Woman is certainly about to enjoy a huge debut at the box office, and it’s a great sign for the future of the DCEU that it finally has a movie that most critics agree is a worthy investment for the franchise and essential viewing for DC fans. However, it still has a long way to go to catch Batman v. Superman’s $873 million worldwide total. But even if Wonder Woman can’t quite match Batman v. Superman, for it to have this kind of commercial success with a female director and star undoubtedly makes the movie a game-changer for the genre and the industry.

Source: Five Thirty Eight

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