The Lebanese group Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon is calling for a ban of Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman there because the pic’s lead actress Gal Gadot is an Israeli and a former soldier in that country’s army. No official request has been received by Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy, which through a six-member committee would execute such a decision. Calls to boycott Wonder Woman aren’t unanimous across the country.
Deadline has learned that Wonder Woman is scheduled to play about 15 theaters in Lebanon. The territory is a small one in the grand scheme of the overseas box office for a movie. Furthermore, Lebanon traditionally has played Gadot’s titles, with the bigger movies grossing more than her indie titles, read Furious 7 ($1.8M), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($843K), Fast and Furious 6 ($788K), Fast Five ($520K), Triple 9 ($49K) and Criminal ($15K). In fact, Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon also tried to pry BvS out of theaters in the territory last year.
Warner Bros. provided no comment on the situation.
Wonder Woman is set to open in at least one Beirut cinema Wednesday, with posters and digital billboards already scattered around the Lebanese capital. Wonder Woman officially opens Thursday in the territory. Wonder Woman is on track to make between $175M-$195M at the global B.O. this weekend.
Lebanon officially is at war with Israel and has a law on the books that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling or having contacts with Israelis. On its Facebook page, the campaign pointed out that Gadot is a supporter of Israel’s military policies against the Gaza Strip, the coastal Palestinian region run by the militant group Hamas (see the post below). Tensions are on the rise of late between Israel and Hezbollah, with Israelis reportedly bombing several targets in Syria.
Gadot in the past has praised Israel’s military during the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, however, during the lead-up to Wonder Woman, she’s kept her social pages largely relegated to promoting the DC film.
Wonder Woman also will open Thursday in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, then Oman on June 22 and Bahrain on June 29. The Associated Press originally broke the story today about the group’s protest over Wonder Woman.