Wonder Woman’s gonna break $800m next week
I’ve been–I don’t think I’ve been doing it on the blog, but on Twitter and my FB page I’ve been keeping pretty close tabs on Wonder Woman all summer long. I’ve seen it five or six times in the theatre (including infamously flying to Liverpool to take my friend Leah to it to make sure she’d see it when her husband didn’t particularly want to!). I’ve been watching it break record after record–it was the biggest opening for the first weekend in June ever, it’s the biggest female-led, female-directed movie in history, Warner Bros have announced they’re going to be running a major Academy Awards campaign for it for Best Picture and Best Director (and I tell you, having seen it six times, I *still* think Gal Gadot deserves a Best Actress nomination). It stayed in theatres at nearly unprecedented numbers–it’s down to under 1000 now, but it only dropped that low last week–and I’ve just been hanging on to watching it go from success to success. It’s meant a lot to me. It shouldn’t *have* to, but it has.
And now I’m looking at this week’s nubers. $402.8m in North America as of Wednesday. $396m internationally (and that’s as of the weekend, because Box Office Mojo doesn’t get international numbers as rapidly). $798.7m all together, worldwide.
So I’m calling it: Wonder Woman is going to squeak over $800m worldwide *before* it opens in Japan on the 25th.
The fascinating thing is that Japan is a total wild card. At the worst it’ll play like the other DCEU movies and make about $15m there. But it’s a princess warrior movie, and Diana’s voice is being dubbed by the woman who does Sailor Moon’s voice, which is as canny a bit of casting as ever there was. And Japan *loves* princess movies. It *could* play like a Disney princess film and make tens of millions.
It needs $873,260,195 to beat Batman vs Superman by $1.
Come on, Wondy.
(Also the director, Patty Jenkins, is reported to be just about to sign a historic deal for the sequel, with the expectation of a payday unlike anything a woman director has ever seen. Come on, Wondy! #emotions)
The 13th Doctor: It shouldn’t matter, but it does.
Carrie Fisher. Robin Wright. Gal Gadot. Daisy Ridley. Melissa McCarthy & Leslie Jones & Kate McKinnon & Kristen Wigg.
It shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter, but it goddamn well does.
You know why I chose the women I did, up above? You know why I didn’t include Weaver & Hamilton & Theron on that list?
Because Ripley and Connor and Furiosa were given to us. They were put on the table by filmmakers who said either “it doesn’t matter if this character’s a woman or a man,” or who specifically chose a woman as the vehicle for the main story. Alien & Terminator were always ours. We didn’t have to ask, much less plead and beg, for Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor. We weren’t looking for Furiosa, and Theron came out of nowhere the same way Weaver & Hamilton did.
But Carrie Fisher? Robin Wright? Yeah, Princess Leia & the Princess Bride were integral to their stories, but Buttercup was a pretty passive observer in her own story and Leia wasn’t there FOR GIRLS. She was there as the token female. The fact that she had an important role & agency is almost beside the point. I read something recently–maybe in Empire Magazine–where someone said something like “If you think about it, Star Wars is really Leia’s story,” and all I could think was WOULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN AMAZING IF IT HAD BEEN FILMED THAT WAY?
So General Antiope? General Organa? I feel like we *fought* for them. Diana? Rey? I feel like they’re from us saying “we want this so much, we deserve this, we hold up half the fucking sky, people.” An all-women Ghostbusters team? We kept saying “oh god please we want this this would be so awesome.” And so now, a female Doctor? It feels like another one we fought for.
And it shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to be pleading for 1/13th of the pie (or less). We shouldn’t have to be THIS HAPPY to get it. And yet I am.
And I’m also SO ANGRY that it takes so little, such a crumb, to make me THIS HAPPY, when it shouldn’t even be a conversation.
And none of that even STARTS to touch on how 8 of the 9 (or 11/12, depending on how you wanna count it) women I’ve talked about are white ladies.
I don’t want white women to be the only ones gaining ground here. I don’t want increments. We don’t NEED increments. The actors are there. Storm Reid proves it. Zendaya proves it. Hannah John-Kamen & Frankie Adams prove it. And I want to see women of color in all these big amazing roles and films too. I don’t want this to just be a moment for white girls and indistinguishable blondes.
I want more, god damn it. I want it all, for all of us. #GirlPower
A friend of mine over on FB wants to go see Thor again and there was a discussion about it that I didn’t read, except one comment stood out to me, when he said he didn’t much like Jane Foster.
I love Jane Foster, and said so, and he wanted to know why.
This is why:
Because Jane is a female character who is unabashedly intelligent and never portrayed as anything less than attractive.
Because she has entirely realistic giggly googly-eyed reactions to gigantic blonde men without shirts.
Because she is the catalyst for much of the story in both films, as she’s the one who dares to chase storms and get in governmental faces and make risky choices in pursuit of her yes, inarguably Star-Treky, science, but science that certainly isn’t any worse than Vita-Rays or gamma radiation or arc reactors in peoples’ chests and yet somehow I don’t see people bitching about Captain America or the Hulk or Iron Man.
Because she’s been as brave as humanly possible in amazingly difficult positions, given that she’s an entirely normal person in physical terms and she’s dealing with gods.
Because she’s got female friends and she loves and trusts them and there’s no backstabbing or back-biting or fighting over men.
Because she’s a tenacious and driven female character and never condemned for that–warned about it sometimes, but never condemned for it.
Because they have actually delivered a female with strength of character, with an agenda of her own, with passions of her own, and she’s still somebody who faints or gets woozy when things get really rough because normal people in fact freak out when incredibly bizarre things happen to them.
Because, in short, Jane Foster is what a “strong female character” *ought* to be: a 3-dimensional, approachable, understandable, admirable, weak, silly, funny, clever, foolish–in other words, _human_.
And that, all of that, hardly ever happens on film.
And *that* is why I love Jane Foster.
Has DC done something stupid today?
Yes. Almost always, yes.
This week, DC has seen the creators of the incredibly-well-recieved Batwoman title walk off the job due to editorial flip-flopping and the ultimate, unexpected-to-the-creators, decision that Batwoman would not ever be seen marrying her long-time partner Maggie. They appreciate that it’s someone else’s sandbox and editorial has the final call, but the decisions they’re seeing are coming at the last minute, after years of plotting and planning–plotting and planning which editorial had to be involved in, so it’s not like the creators sprang “Hey, let’s marry them off!” on the editors.
Ted, who has enjoyed the hell out of the new DCU, and indeed, considers it what got him back into reading and collecting comics, is ending all his DC subscriptions. This is not an uncommon reaction, from what I’m reading. (The creators have asked that readers stick with them through issue 26, which is the end of their run, as they’re going to try to salvage what they can and go out with a bang.)
So that was pretty bad.
And then they followed it up with open artist submissions for the Harley Quinn title, in which they ask for four panels of Harley trying to kill herself (she can’t). The last panel is supposed to be of Harley naked in a tub about to drop a zillion electrical appliances into the water with her.
Because that’s cool. Naked girls trying to kill themselves for our entertainment. I’ve seen a lot of great suggestions about how people should respond, including doing a Hawkeye Initiative thing and submitting–because it is an open submission form–the same frames except with Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Joker, etc–instead of Harley. I think that’s a terrific response. (I also like the person who said “I feel like there should be a PANEL 5 specification where you have to draw Harley walking into a refrigerator and closing the door behind her,” which I think would be a terrific addition to anybody submitting for this project.
You know the other thing I’d like to see happen? I’d like to see all the *incredible* Harley Quinn cosplayers out there respond to the DC thing by doing a 4-image photo shoot of themselves in some variant on the requested frames (although not so much with the NAKED IN THE BATHTUB, because *wordless*).
Why? Because I’d like to see DC faced with *real women* in those pictures. I’d like to see if they think it’s so great when it’s a real woman in those pictures trying to kill herself over and over and over again.
(You know the other problem with the Harley thing? It’s that all four images they’re asking for are static. They’re not sequential art; they’re four small splashes, not telling any kind of story through action. Yeah, they’ll be able to see if you can draw Harley 4 times in a row, but I’ve *done* artist searches. *Huge* numbers of people can draw great splashs or pinups and cannot do actual sequential art for beans. It’s a terrible, terrible audition page.)
To wrap it up, over on Facebook, a friend posted a link with the commentary that I would like this analogy, and I do: Marvel vs DC: the Dudebro Analogy. Well worth reading, particularly in light of all the above.
The course of my social media morning:
I see an image of a duck in a Batsuit, with BATFLECK across the top, and an image below of it of a horrified Batman. I am mildly amused and keep scrolling.
I see “They need another Batman for the underserved white male demographic. Can’t you feel their pain?”
I put the those two things together and think “…nah.”
Then I see someone say “Ben Affleck, Batman? What cruel parallel world have we entered?” after which the friends list and follow list and everything devolve into 80% rage-a-thon and 10% wait-and-see and 10% awesome freaking stuff like the Greek off-the-grid Internet and portraits of the Sworn Virgins of Albania.
My personal reaction is “Ben Affleck is a better actor that he’s given credit for and he’ll probably be fine but until they give me a Wonder Woman movie I am frankly out of fucks to give.”
Scrolling down through Twitter makes it clear I am not the only person by a long shot who had pretty much the same immediate reaction. Gratifyingly, a large number of people who responded the same way are men. Probably my favorite response was from Saladin Ahmed, who said “A Wonder Woman movie would be too big a financial risk! We’ve decided to go with a proven moneymaker: A Ben Affleck superhero movie!” Which is perhaps not entirely fair to Ben, but the point is.
Seriously, people. *Seriously*.
Image Credit: Wonder Woman by Meagan Marie, who is freaking awesome, OMG.