Beyond the US and Canada, the film was released day-and-date with its North American debut in 55 markets (72% of its total release), and was projected to debut with anywhere between $92–118 million. It ended up opening to $125 million, including $38 million in China, $8.5 million in Korea, $8.4 million in Mexico, $8.3 million in Brazil and $7.5 million in the UK. In its second week of release, the film brought in another $60 million, including holding the top spot on France, the UK, Australia and Brazil. In the Philippines, it broke 2017 box office record for highest-earning non-holiday opening day—earning $4.7 million and becoming the 9th-most successful commercial film of all time as well overtaking the record set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film opened in its last market, Japan, on August 25 and debuted to $3.4 million, helping the international gross cross the $400 million mark. The biggest markets of Wonder Woman outside North America are China (US$90 million) followed by Brazil (US$34 million), UK (US$28 million), Australia($23 million) and Mexico($22 million).
In present-day Paris, Diana receives a photographic plate from Wayne Enterprises of herself and four men taken during World War I, prompting her to recall her past. The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana is raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, home to the Amazonian women warriors created by Zeus to protect mankind. Hippolyta explains the Amazonian history to Diana, including how Ares became jealous of humanity and orchestrated its destruction. When the other gods attempted to stop him, Ares killed all but Zeus, who used the last of his power to wound Ares and force his retreat. Before dying, Zeus left the Amazons the island and a weapon, the "Godkiller", to prepare them for Ares's return.
Wonder Woman's character was created during World War II; the character in the story was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).
In March 2005, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures announced that Joss Whedon would write and direct the film. Early drafts of his screenplay included Steve Trevor as the narrator, a fierce battle between Diana and her mother over Trevor's welfare, and after leaving Themyscira, his need to frequently rescue a Diana rendered helpless by the modern world. Whedon was not able to complete a final version of his screenplay, and left the project in 2007.
In February 1941, Marston submitted a draft of his first script, explaining the “under-meaning” of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. “The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.” His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.”
A few decades later, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem's Ms. Magazine debuted in 1972 with an image of Wonder Woman on the cover. Historian Tim Hanley suggests that this move shifted "the focus away from female superiority to sisterhood and equality, essentially making her a mascot of the women's movement". This perception shifted over the years, as demonstrated in December 2016 when the United Nations decided to drop the title of "honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls" which it had given to the comic book character Wonder Woman a few months prior, in a ceremony attended by the actors who had portrayed her (Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot). The title was eliminated in response to a petition signed by 44,000 people which argued that Wonder Woman undermines female empowerment due to her costume, described as a "shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots". The petition stated that "it is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls". Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins responded to both the petition and to the U.N.'s decision by stating that she thinks "that that's sexist. I think it's sexist to say you can't have both. I have to ask myself what I would apply to any other superhero".
Preparing to get Zola back from Hades, Wonder Woman and her male companions sought out Eros in Italy. She hoped that he could lead them to Hephaestus, who might have been able to arm them appropriately for battle with the ruler of Hell. He lead them to Mount Etna, where the blacksmith agreed to arm them. As retribution for his aid, though, Hades sent a monster to kill them all, which had to be dispatched by Diana. Afterwards, Hephaestus armed Diana with new weapons, insisting that she take Eros' guns of love with her to Hell.
In 1972, just months after the groundbreaking US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, science fiction author Samuel R. Delany had planned a story for Ms. that culminated in a plainsclothes Wonder Woman protecting an abortion clinic. However, Steinem disapproved of Wonder Woman being out of costume, and the controversial story line never happened.