What happened?

Wonder Woman not only dominated this past weekend's box office -- it set a new record. Making its big-screen debut, the movie collected roughly $103 million in domestic ticket sales, making it the all-time highest-grossing opening weekend for a film directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins, in this case).

Released by Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX.DL) movie division Warner Bros., Wonder Woman was also a major hit abroad -- it brought in an estimated $122.5 million on international markets.

Wonder Woman, in a still from the film


In (distant) second place for the weekend was another debut, the animated superhero comedy Captain Underpants. The film, from Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) busy DreamWorks Animation, raked in around $23.5 million on the U.S. market.

Behind that was the latest installment in the Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) criminals-of-the-sea franchise Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. In the United States, the movie grossed just under $22 million.

Does it matter?

In terms of movie studios, the weekend's clear winner was Warner Bros./Time Warner. Film pundits expected Wonder Woman to do well, but not this well: Over $100 million is a smashing success, even for a big-budget superhero franchise movie. And speaking of franchises, it looks like this iteration of everyone's favorite action female could be the start of a very long and lucrative series for the Time Warner unit.

Although Captain Underpants and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales took the No. 2 and No. 3 slots, their respective performances weren't necessarily encouraging for Comcast and Disney shareholders. The former recorded one of the weakest openings for a DreamWorks title, while the latter's gross dropped a steep 66% from its opening last weekend.

Eric Volkman owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Time Warner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.