Wonder Woman has absolutely crushed the box office since its release. As the film sells out women-only showings and breaks records, it sets new ground for female-centric films and gives women the opportunity to see themselves as fantastic superheroines, a representation that was never before as relatable and powerful in mainstream media.
It turns out that as much as women can see themselves in Wonder Woman’s impressive abilities and superhuman strengths, they can also relate to her in a less positive and much more human way.
There are more glass ceilings to be broken, even in the DC Universe.
Gal Gadot reportedly earned $300,000 for her starring role, which is still a pretty hefty chunk of change in comparison with the annual salary of the average American woman. In comparison, Man Of Steel‘s Henry Cavill earned an estimated $14 million for his turn as Superman. This means that Gadot earned a fraction of Cavill’s pay, despite her film going on to earn nearly 100% of the domestic profits within much less time after its release for a much smaller budget and to earn much better reviews. Repayment in hindsight or predicting a film’s future success isn’t exactly possible, but it does seem a bit disconcerting that one superhero would make significantly less than another.
That said, it’s only going up from here for Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman.
Variety reports that Gadot signed a contract in 2014 that gave her $300,000 for each DC movie she does. She will most likely earn bonuses going forward, especially considering her first film’s smashing success. Henry’s Man of Steel earnings also include bonuses.
Either way, this is a clear demonstration of the difference in wage when it comes to men and women in Hollywood, but one that feels a bit less realistic in comparison with the earnings of average women. Let’s face it: Gal Gadot is going to be just fine, but American women that find themselves making less than their male counterparts may actually be missing out on money that could make a tangible difference in their quality of life.
As white women make about 70-80 cents less than every white man’s dollar (depending on career field and circumstance), National Partnership reports that Latinx women make around 43-60 cents less than every white man’s dollar. This doesn’t account for trans women, particularly those of color, who make significantly less and are often forced to work in non-taxable and often uncreditable industries, making their earnings unable to be measured.
Wonder Woman isn’t exactly a stranger to the wage gap, but in the end, her pay is just a slight insight into the less substantial earnings of the average woman. Hopefully as wonderous women everywhere continue to fight for equality, no woman will have to make less than a man, particularly if the job she’s doing is even more successful than his.