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Wonder Woman Box Office: The Numbers That Actually Matter

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Let me say this up front: I thought Gal Gadot was one of the two good parts of Batman v Superman: Yawn of Justice. And I freaking love the movie Wonder Woman. I want them to hand the DC Cinematic Universe off to director Patty Jenkins right now. So I don’t want you to think I’m slamming the film when I say that this article about Wonder Woman breaking the Box Office Domestic Top 5 of All Time is nice, but doesn’t actually mean anything. The reason? They’re talking ticket prices that haven’t been adjusted for inflation. They’re also using…well, I’m not sure what comScore uses because unadjusted, Wonder Woman is currently right behind Frozen at #27.

Unadjusted all-time box office is currently Force Awakens with $936,662,225. However, when you adjust for ticket price inflation, #1 is Gone With the Wind with $1,796,176,700. Granted, Wind has had a number of re-releases to get to that point, but the average ticket price in 1939 when it was released…was $0.23. So if we assume a $10 ticket for Awakens, Wind would have to sell 43 tickets for every 1 ticket that Awakens sold. You see how whatever the unadjusted #1 is…eventually something will come along and unseat it just based on ticket prices alone. That being said, both Awakens and Wind have female protagonists, so the news isn’t all bad.

So…other records we could be looking at? I believe it’s the top film to have a female director as sole credit on the film. Jennifer Lee is the highest female director on the list at 108 for Frozen, which she co-directed with Chris Buck.

Comic book movies? It’s at #13, right between Civil War and Iron Man. That makes it, of course, the highest female-led comic book movie since the next one on the list is…well, um, Annie at #54. As far as “Action Heroines” go, it’s at #6, just behind Judgement Day.

It has, however, cracked the Top 5 DC Comics movies. #4 is the original Superman, so that’s nothing to sneeze at.

What the hell does it all mean and what is my point? Well, if we’re going to get all number-nerdy when it comes to box office, let’s at least be comparing apples to apples. Because with ticket prices what they are, there’s no way in hell older films can stack up. And also because then when you have a film that cracks some high spot on the unadjusted chart, it actually means something. And if there’s one thing we like here, it’s making the seemingly meaningless to be very meaningful.