In the days since Wonder Woman debuted last Friday, the media has portrayed the film’s success as a triumph for women, and it certainly was. Few directors can claim a $100 million opening weekend, and thanks to the DC Universe’s matriarch, Patty Jenkins is now the first woman to join that elite list. In fact, in all time, only 45 movies have had such an immediate impact at the box office, with fewer than forty directors at the helm. Indeed, almost three times as many people have lived on the International Space Station than have created films that break the $100 million opening weekend mark, and that’s a triumph worthy of note for any gender.
But as is so often the case, the social media sphere couldn’t simply say, “oh, that’s neat” and leave well enough alone. Left-leaning people sought out anything critical people had to say about the movie, touting each as the most horrific form of misogyny they’ve ever seen, and angry guys from the opposing view have pointed at women-only screenings as another example of the Left failing to abide by their own politically correct mandates. Here’s the things about all that bickering: who cares? Some people won’t like the movie – it’s got cheesy writing and meanders a bit here and there. And can we be honest guys – did it really bother any of us all that much that some women went to see this movie without us somewhere? I don’t even know where these all-lady showings were, because when I went and bought my ticket on opening night, I didn’t have any trouble finding a screening that would let me in.
Progressives want to attribute the success of this movie to the power and strength of women, and some conservatives want to point out that feminism often comes with an inherent distaste for men (not in all cases, but the stereotype isn’t without anecdotal evidence to support). I have a wildly different theory born out of the part of my brain that forces me to watch Alien for the fiftieth time with a notebook in my hand to note how many times Ridley Scott used “dutch angles” to create a sense of foreboding… I think Wonder Woman may have had a great opening weekend because it’s a good movie.
No, I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate the long-overdue addition of a lady-director to the blockbuster club, nor am I suggesting that this movie didn’t face hurdles born out of our cultural misconceptions about women. I am, however, suggesting that lots of people didn’t buy their movie tickets to make a political statement, or to support someone else’s. They may have just wanted to see a kick-ass super hero movie that takes place on the front lines of World War I.