Stellar reviews could mean "Wonder Woman" avoids the same fate next week. Data from media measurement firm comScore showed 73 percent of people who saw the movie would recommend it, while 22 percent planned to see it in the theater again.
"'Wonder Woman' is the DC Comics movie that everyone has been waiting for and it did not disappoint," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. The film "effectively ushers in a new era for Warner Bros.' DC universe that of late has been a brand in search of the perfect movie."
It also crowned a new top opener for a female-helmed film. Jenkins now inherits the title from Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose "50 Shades of Grey" opened to $85.2 million in 2015.
In the weeks before its debut, "Wonder Woman" gathered momentum as glowing reviews poured in and the movie dominated much of the social media conversation. An annual survey from ticket-seller Fandango found it was the most anticipated film of the summer, beating out the upcoming "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" installment.
Tracking figures forecast "Wonder Woman" would haul in about $95 million in its North American debut this week.
With an estimated $120 million to $150 million production budget, "Wonder Woman" is the biggest bet yet on a film featuring a standalone female superhero. Studios have not gambled on a major release on a super-heroine since Twentieth Century Fox's "Elektra" and Warner Bros.' "Catwoman" — both of which bombed more than a decade ago.
Alisha Grauso, editor-at-large at genre website Movie Pilot, said studio executives have long been out of step with the fan community on this point. At the same time Hollywood has simply failed to make good films based on women superheroes, it has been more forgiving of male-focused movies, she said.
"You also have male-led superhero movies that bombed as well, but they kept getting made," Grauso told CNBC.
"But when a female-led superhero movie flopped, it's because, 'Oh, people don't want to see a female-led superhero movie.'"