To a one, the women seemed pretty amped to see the movie, especially with an all-female audience. “It’s nice to have that, even for just two hours,” said Andrea Lam, 28, a book publicist who lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Her friend Mo Lathrop, 33, a translator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, was glad she didn’t have to be concerned “about 17-year-olds yelling about Gal Gadot’s bosoms.”
The online fuss roundly prompted eye rolls.
“I wasn’t surprised at all; are you kidding?” said Jennifer Udden, 31, a literary agent who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. A graduate of Mount Holyoke, a women’s college, Ms. Udden said she was excited about experiencing a superhero movie about a woman directed by a woman — Patty Jenkins — while surrounded by women.
“When you exclude men from one space, they all say it’s not fair,” Ms. Udden continued. “And when women point out the structural problems of patriarchy and the lack of opportunities for women, they say, ‘Grow a thicker skin.’”
Sitting beside her on the waiting room’s black leather banquette, Tanya Matos, 54, who works in human resources and came from Staten Island, chalked the backlash up to internet trolls. “Crybabies,” she said.
Another moviegoer, Christina Ku, 30, a copywriter, said she didn’t understand the outcry because women had long been denied various rights, like voting. Her friend Samantha Howard, 29, said people becoming angry about something so innocuous made it all the more thrilling.
Stephanie Billman, who is in her 40s and is chief of staff for a nonprofit organization, said the criticism felt like the “status quo pushing back” but that she didn’t intend to give it much thought. “It feels entirely ridiculous, and I want to enjoy this more than I want to get upset,” she said.
There were murmurings over at the box office. Frank Icano, 26, a painter from Park Slope, came to see the movie with a group of friends and was aghast to learn that not only was it sold out but it had also been restricted to women. Reporters circled him as he vented.
“There are plenty of other female movies that come out, and I’m not able to see this because I have a penis,” he said. He was shushed by one of his friends, Monica Wilkins, 21, an after-school counselor from Queens. “It’s only one time,” she said. “Relax.”
Then the doors opened, and viewers filed into the theater. Reporters were banned, but according to audience members, a couple of men slipped in, though no one said anything, and word circulated that at least one was someone’s dad.
The moviegoers reported that they had found themselves tearing up and laughing knowingly at the same points, and that with a crowd composed mostly of women, it seemed as if everyone was in it together. “It felt nice to be catered to,” Ms. Lam said.
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a moviegoer. She is Christina Ku, not Qu.