After a series of misfires in the DC comics movie universe, the prospects for Gal Gadot's big-screen Diana Prince are suddenly looking "Wonder"-ful.
Only a month after initial tracking had Wonder Woman pulling in a so-so $65 million opening weekend, it's now Fandango's "most anticipated summer movie."
Though there is obvious concern at Warner Bros. about whether Wonder Woman can have a Marvel-like opening and spur hit sequels, the belief here is that the movie is going to surprise everyone and win the summer box office crown — opening with $110 million domestic and finishing with $430 million Stateside. Here's why:
1) Fans have been waiting 76 years. Ever since the character was introduced in 1941, she has captured people's imaginations and become one of DC's "Big Three" characters. Yet, although Batman has starred in eight films on the big screen, and Superman's fans have been able to enjoy seven, Diana Prince has never been able to reach the silver screen. Until now.
2) Gal Gadot has already made Wonder Woman her own. From her memorable appearance in last year's Batman v. Superman, Gadot has embraced the character and its legacy — frequently being photographed with small-screen Wonder Woman Lynda Carter.
3) The film is a faithful adaptation of the source material. From Lord of the Rings to Iron Man, this is always important. People who have waited years to see the characters they've enjoyed in comics want to see those characters as they know them.
4) Even though it's faithful to a classic character, it's still the freshest film of the summer. Who is Diana competing against? A fifth Pirates of the Caribbean? A sixth Spider-Man? Another Mummy? A ninth Planet of the Apes? A fifth Transformers? Cars 3? Despicable Me 3?
5) The film is eminently rewatchable. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige has said the difference in blockbuster level for films today lies in multiple viewings in the theater. Based on the early reviews, more people than usual will want to see Wonder Woman again and again on the big screen.
6) Girl power. Until Atomic Blonde next month, there isn't another action film with a female lead.
7) Uh, wonder! Films like Fate of the Furious and Atomic Blonde are grounded in reality that makes some of the action seem outlandish. Wonder Woman is about an Amazon princess with superpowers.
8) It's what Hollywood loves to call a four-quadrant film, with appeal to girls, boys, adults, and older adults. It's conservative, but also feminist. It has kick-ass action for boys and an empowering message for girls. And grandparents remember the character from when they were children.
9) It has a 96 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.