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The movie industry is a cutthroat landscape in which box office numbers and Rotten Tomatoes scores can make or break a film's theatrical run. It can be mentally taxing for even the most seasoned filmmaker, but for Wonder director Stephen Chbosky, all of that melted away when a girl that he met admitted that she had felt touched by the story of Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) and the tale of his congenital facial disabilities. In a recent interview, Chbosky told CinemaBlend:
I remember our premiere was three days before we opened, and we had no idea what the tomato score was going to be in and it was, it was a nail-biter about opening weekend and all of that. And this little girl named Morgan came up to me. She has a facial difference, and I'd met her on set, and she came up with her parents, and she said, 'That is my new favorite movie.' Let me tell you something. When you're in the middle of just not knowing how it's going to go and this little girl comes up to you and gives me the biggest gift ever because I said, 'you know what? I do care what happens with the movie, but at the very least, I made Morgan's favorite movie of all time.' That is enough for any lifetime, so just enjoy it, enjoy the ride and be grateful. And it's been like that ever since.
It really sounds like the process of bringing Wonder to the big screen was just as stressful and complicated as the process of bringing any other movie to the big screen. However, as Stephen Chbosky explained to CinemaBlend. he eventually met a girl with a "facial difference" similar to that of Auggie Pullman, and her positive reaction to the film quickly made him far less anxious about the film's success with critics or mainstream audiences.
The love and acceptance of a girl like Morgan is relatively significant when we consider Wonder's story. After all, the film follows the story of Jacob Tremblay's Auggie Pullman, a young, New York boy with Treacher Collins syndrome -- a condition leaving him with severe facial deformities. Telling a story like Wonder requires walking a tightrope to make sure that the story lands appropriately without offending anyone, and it seems that Stephen Chbosky managed to pull that off by winning Morgan over.
Of course, none of this should take away from the fact that Wonder actually did go on to become a major hit with critics and audiences alike. The film earned its relatively low budget back several times over with an international box office haul in the range of $286 million, and the film currently stands with an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That is definitely not bad for a relatively small adaptation of R.J. Palacio's original 2012 novel of the same name.
Stephen Chbosky's Wonder is now available on Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray. Looking beyond his recent, heartwarming hit, make sure to check out CinemaBlend's 2018 movie premiere guide and stay tuned for more updates related to Chbosky's work on upcoming films like Disney's upcoming Prince Charming movie as more information becomes available to us.