‘Wonder Woman’s Success Leaves Warner Execs Gobsmacked And Scrambling

Wonder Woman garnered more critical acclaim and ticket sales than Warner anticipated, earning $103.3 million in its domestic opening compared to the estimates that it would only open to $65 million. Even before that success was inspiring obscene confidence, there were rumors of a sequel and director Patty Jenkins even spoke about what she has in mind for Wonder Woman 2.

Despite all that, it turns out the sequel wasn’t yet in development and Patty Jenkins is not yet on board to direct, regardless of reports to the contrary. Now the Hollywood Reporter, who previously said Jenkins was signed for a sequel, now report she’s yet to sign. They also report that Warner execs may have been caught off guard by the film exceeding its opening weekend domestic estimates by a gobsmacking 59 percent:

[I]nitial tracking reports predicted Jenkins’ $150 million-budgeted film would open to about $65 million domestic, solid but hardly a reason to begin planning a long-range strategy. And the studio had been focusing on putting together Justice League Dark, a supernatural team-up project, and Batgirl, a Joss Whedon-helmed film (among other Bat-offerings), as the likely next movies to go into production in the DC Comics universe. […] Some insiders say it was only in recent weeks that Wonder Woman buzz began to grow on the Warners lot in Burbank, so the studio wanted to wait for the opening weekend results before initiating any negotiations.

That strategy may backfire now, as Patty Jenkins can negotiate for a much larger paycheck in light of the film’s success. When she was signed for the first movie, her only other feature film was 2003’s Monster, for which Charlize Theron earned the Academy Award for Best Actress. Regardless of whether or not a sequel brings Jenkins a monster paycheck (sorry), this may change the trajectory of the DCEU. Between Wonder Woman being more popular than expected and Batgirl possibly repeating that success with Joss Whedon at the helm, the DCEU may find itself being skewed more towards female superheroes than originally planned. Which is cool as long as they aren’t all named Martha…

(Via the Hollywood Reporter and Bleeding Cool)