It's not often that I wake up to a mailbox full of unsolicited comments from Academy members about a movie, especially in June, a half-year before any of them receive their Oscar nomination ballots. But that's precisely what happened on Sunday, the morning after Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman screened for the organization's members at its Beverly Hills headquarters. The pic — the first big-studio superhero film in either the current DC or Marvel movie universes centering on a female character, starring Gal Gadot — opened nationwide on Friday, garnering 93% favorable reviews and grossing $100.5 million at the domestic box office.
Before reading my emails, I checked Twitter to see what sort of chatter was going on there. "I've never seen more people at an Academy screening," tweeted Tony Pierce, a community manager at the Academy, along with a picture of the crowd. "Last time I saw a crowd like this here was for The Force Awakens," noted Peter Clines, who attends Academy screenings as the significant other of a member. Academy members are invited to bring up to three guests to screenings at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at this time of the year, meaning the crowd wasn't all members. But, even so, now I was intrigued and couldn't wait to read what members' reactions were.