What Has Been The Most Important Factor In Wonder Woman’s Success?

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The Woflhall takes a look at the factors which may have contributed to Wonder Woman’s success

Wonder Woman has truly been a revelation for Warner Bros and the DC universe. The movie has managed to infiltrate the minds of audiences and critics and left them in awe. Before Wonder Woman most of DC’s movies including Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and even Suicide Squad failed to make an impact on the box office. Fans and producers of DC films went as far as questioning the credibility of various critics, Rotten Tomatoes in particular. There were also rumors that critics were biased against DC and criticized DC’s film just for the sake of it. However the latest super hero movie in DC’s road towards the Justice League has proved otherwise.

Wonder Woman has now had immense success in the box office. The movie has managed to break record after record and has clearly surprised everyone. There are various factors that can be attributed to the success of DC’s latest installment. Let’s take a look at some of them.

DC in its race against Marvel has always struggled to keep up. While Marvel was able to release its Avengers in 2014, DC’s first movie on its journey to the Justice League Man of Steel was launched in 2013. Naturally DC had to turn up their pace which meant they had to deliver a lot in a small amount of time. The tough schedule along with high demands was a difficult criteria for DC to meet. Wonder Woman on the other hand has a slightly different scenario. DC this time has managed to beat Marvel. Wonder Woman is the first Superhero film featuring a female lead. This movie thus gives a strong sign to the audience who may feel DC to be more open to diversity.

Another factor that may have boosted Wonder Woman movie sales is the rising wave of feminism. There is a growing spree of feminism that the world is now witnessing and what better time to launch such a movie in this era. We believe Warner Bros to have intelligently captured a market or target population that has huge potential and which someone had never thought of targeting. According to an article on Forbes “There were already millions of people ready to pay $15-20 for a ticket just to wipe the grins off those men’s faces, regardless of whether Wonder Woman was good, great or fair-to-middling.“ While it’s easy to paint Wonder Woman’s success as mere political correctness it’s important to remember it’s a well thought out action packed movie which just happens to fit the current social narrative.,

The Superhero movie story lines have now turned truly mundane and predictable. In almost every superhero movie the plot is almost the same. We see a male superhero fighting a villain who has captured the male leads crush. In the end the superhero beats the villain, gets the girl and finally shows how a man should act like. Wonder Woman however took things differently. This time Gal Gadot Aka Wonder Woman was the main protagonist while Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) was the damsel in distress. Wonder Woman on several occasions in the movie through her superior strength and weapons is shown as the savior. What’s interesting is that Chris Pine acknowledges this advantage that she has over him. This is role reversal is unexpected and goes far beyond the cliched superhero genre.

Another reason for the success of Wonder Woman can be due to the controversy it is able to draw. The fact that Gal Gadot is an Israeli, and was part of the defense forces which have allegedly been involved in mass human rights violations of Palestine. This has caused an uproar in some Muslim states including Lebanon. Although Lebanon banned the film it must have made people curious over the issue.While many observers have commented that the mantle of Wonder Woman  should not go to someone who allegedly was part of the regime which was involved in the mass murder of children and civilians, I feel it’s important to separate politics from the message that the movie is trying to put forth, and that is regardless of gender you can actually be brave and take a stand.

Wonder Woman has provided Warner Bros a solid foundation for Justice League. The director and producers of Justice League should learn the Dos and Dont’s from the movie and try to deliver what their fans want most.

  • BayLeaves

    I think that the way the film appealed to a female audience was the key reason for its success. Remember, Wonder Woman opened smaller than all the other DCEU films. However, it overtook them at the domestic box office purely because its week-to-week holds were so strong. This pattern of strong holds is pretty characteristic of films that appeal to adult female moviegoers. Just anecdotally, I work in a female-dominated industry and I have overheard multiple conversations about Wonder Woman around the office, mostly from women who were reluctant to see Wonder Woman but went because their kids wanted to see it, only to them thoroughly enjoy it themselves – and then spread positive word-of-mouth to their female colleagues, or even to see the movie again with their mothers or female friends.

    I think one of the key elements to this film’s female appeal was that there were multiple female characters who were all portrayed as competent and 3 dimensional. These characters ranged in age- the film shows Diana as a child and a young woman, and includes several characters played by actresses around 50 years old. And they also ranged in role – lots of warriors, but also a mother telling a bedtime story to her daughter, a queen making tough political decisions, the funny assistant who is also useful for the plan. (The film also had a range of competent male characters – and not all of them were tough). Another reason for its female appeal is that the film also had a strong romantic plot. And I also think the female director had a big influence – the way she filmed Diana was never sleazy (Diana never even shows any cleavage and there were no lewd butt shots). Instead, close ups and slow-mo’s of Diana in action always emphasized her strength.