'Wonder Woman' shatters glass ceiling, Twitter record
- "Wonder Woman," the action movie based on the DC Comics heroine, became the most tweeted-about movie of 2017 last week with 2.19 million posts on Twitter, which has 313 million monthly active users. Those tweets surpassed the prior record held by “Beauty and the Beast,” which is still the highest-grossing film for this year following its March release, according to Variety magazine.
- The opening weekend for "Wonder Woman" reached $103 million in domestic box office sales, bringing the global total to $220 million and breaking the record for biggest opening yet for a female-directed movie. Director Patty Jenkins, whose previous feature film "Monster" starred Charlize Theron, was given a $150 million budget for “Wonder Woman,” another record for a female director.
- Actress Gal Gadot plays the title heroine and was mentioned most frequently in tweets, according to Variety. Her most popular tweets featured promotional material for the film, including two trailers and the movie poster.
While Twitter isn’t the most popular social media app globally, especially compared with Facebook, it's become somewhat of a barometer of the public mood on certain topics with its ability to reach millions of users instantaneously. Tweets about films show that social media platforms have become a key part of studio marketing. Releasing trailers on YouTube is now standard, but generating conversations on Twitter is critical because of its ability to project massive word-of-mouth advertising in real time.
The box office success of “Wonder Woman” is being embraced as a turning point for action movies with female leads after a long history of studios avoiding the character's origin story altogether. The argument was that female action leads didn’t appeal to an audience of teen and pre-teen boys who identify with “Iron Man” and “Spiderman.”
That being said, female-led films like “Alien” starring Sigourney Weaver and “The Hunger Games” series starring Jennifer Lawrence were major box office hits. On the other hand, movies like “Ghost in the Shell” starring Scarlett Johansson and “Catwoman” starring Halle Berry were flops. The lesson seems to be that it’s difficult to judge whether an action movie will be a hit or bust solely based on the gender of its lead character. Rather, the underlying theme seems to remain that good storytelling will almost always find an audience.