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MAMMA MIA!

These are the highest-grossing films directed by women—of which “Wonder Woman” now sits on top

wonder woman
Screenshot/Warner Bros.
Director Patty Jenkins is the real hero.
  • Ashley Rodriguez
By Ashley Rodriguez

Reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Four weekends into its theatrical run, Warner Bros.’s Wonder Woman has become the most successful live-action movie ever helmed by a woman.

The DC superhero movie, from director Patty Jenkins, brought in $653 million at the box office worldwide as of June 25. It surpassed Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Mamma Mia! to become the highest-grossing live-action movie directed by a woman, data from comScore shows. (Frozen, which was co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, holds the record for a movie overall, with its $1.3 billion box-office haul.)

Wonder Woman’s returns are split pretty evenly between the domestic and international box office.

The film made a decent-but-not-amazing debut in the US on the weekend of June 2 with more than $100 million in domestic returns. But it has continued to draw audiences worldwide. This past weekend, it brought in another $46 million globally, including $25 million in North America. There, it’s poised to overtake Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, which earned $330 and $325 million, respectively, last year.

That’s an impressive feat for Jenkins, as Wonder Woman was her first big-budget project. She made her big-screen debut in 2003 with Monster, which earned Charlize Theron the Oscar for Best Actress. It was made with a minuscule $8 million, compared to Wonder Woman’s super-sized $150 million budget. Jenkins’s other work has been primarily in TV.

Overall, Nancy Meyers is the most accomplished director on the list of highest grossing female-helmed movies. She made five movies from 2000 to 2015 that each grossed more than $180 million worldwide: What Women Want, It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, The Intern, and The Holiday. 

It’s been nearly a decade since a woman-directed live-action movie crossed the $600 million mark. The only other to do so was Phyllida Lloyd’s Mamma Mia! in 2008. It was wildly successful internationally, with 75% of its $606 million box-office returns coming from overseas.

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