“Wonder Woman” is the both the newest and the most successful of the four films in the DC Extended Universe franchise. Last weekend this well-reviewed installment surpassed the $291 million domestic box office of 2013’s “Man of Steel,” which launched the series. On Wednesday, “Wonder Woman” moved beyond entry number three — last year’s “Suicide Squad” — and by the end of Thursday, Patty Jenkin‘s smash hit had sailed past the $330 million made by the second in the series, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, was introduced in that latter film, which was a critical dud last spring.
In “Wonder Woman,” the backstory of the ageless Princess Diana is detailed. A century ago, she was training to be an Amazonian warrior on the island of Themyscira when World War I flying ace Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash landed. She helps him with his mission, which requires her to assume the alter-ego of Diana Prince and pursue a German general bent on using deadly gas.
“Wonder Woman” recently passed “Mamma Mia!” as the most successful live-action film by a female director. The success of “Mamma Mia!” allowed helmer Phyllida Lloyd and star Meryl Streep to collaborate again in 2011 on “The Iron Lady,” which won the actress her overdue third Oscar. By coincidence Jenkins had only directed one picture before “Wonder Woman,” which won its leading lady the Best Actress Oscar too. That was the 2003 real-life crime drama “Monster,” which showcased Charlize Theron in a bone-chilling performance as serial killer Aileen Wuornos.