Warner Bros. unleashed their highly-anticipated Wonder Woman in theaters last night for sneak preview screenings, just hours after reports surfaced that its opening weekend could bring in as much as $95 million. The DCEU superhero adventure took in an impressive $11 million, with the audience split evenly between males and females, a rarity among superhero movies, which are usually heavily skewed towards males. This could mean that the latest $95 million projection is quite accurate. This $11 million tally also represents the highest Thursday preview for a movie helmed by a female director, besting the $8.6 million earned by Fifty Shades Of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor Johnson.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the $11 million Thursday preview figure is on par with the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which brought in $11.2 million in 2014, en route to a $94.3 million opening weekend. It also earned more than 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger ($10.2 million, $65 million opening weekend) but came up just shy of Deadpool ($12.7 million, $132.4 million) in Thursday previews. It still didn't come close to the highest Thursday tally for a superhero movie, with The Dark Knight Rises still holding the record with $30.6 million.
Unlike the first two DCEU installments, Wonder Woman has been receiving plenty of critical praise, becoming the first DCEU movie to earn a "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie currently stands at an impressive 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, faring much better with the critics than its predecessors, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (27% on RT) and Suicide Squad (25% on RT), although it won't open nearly as big as those movies at the box office. Batman v Superman, which marked Gal Gadot's debut as Wonder Woman and marked the first time the two title characters were on the big screen together, opened huge with $166.1 million, while Suicide Squad debuted with $133.6 million.
The movie was also making headlines for a different reason earlier this week, though. A Lebanon group was seeking a Wonder Woman ban from theaters throughout the country, simply because star Gal Gadot was born and raised in Israel, and supports her home country's military efforts against Lebanon in their decades-long conflict. The movie was slated to open in at least one theater in the Lebanon capitol of Beirut yesterday, with posters and billboards for the movie sprouting up all over the Lebanon capitol. Sources claimed, though, that a ban would have needed approval from a six-member committee that is part of the Ministry of Economy, but that process has not yet begun.
Wonder Woman also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Sir Patrick, Lucy Davis as Etta Candy, Ewen Bremner as Charlie, Elena Anaya as Dr. Maru and Said Taghmaoui as Sameer. Patty Jenkins directs from a script by Allan Heinberg, based on a story he created alongside Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs. Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how Wonder Woman fared at the box office this weekend.