Lionsgate copy

I don’t usually talk box office numbers because, well, math is hard. The only reason I’m bringing up Lionsgate’s films second billion dollar year is to acknowledge how a good chunk of those earnings were accounted by franchises with female leads, and how it stands to reason that we might start seeing a floodgate of female hero movies.

Alright, so, the numbers…

Last year two of Lionsgate’s films, The Hunger Games and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, made over $125 million apiece at the North American box office. That was the first time Lionsgate – a non major studio mind you – reached such a milestone, and it was also the first time the studio made over $1 billion domestically in a single year.

Driven by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the Summit Entertainment’s sleeper hit Now You See Me, the domestic total for the studio hit $1.025 billion on Sunday. Combined with the $1.227 billion its brought in from abroad, Lionsgate’s worldwide total for the year is $2.225 billion.

Yay for Lionsgate earning tons of money (Can I haz some?). With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 coming out in 2014, I suspect the studio to easily pull the trifecta. Again I ask, can I share in the wealth?

Lionsgate success was propelled largely in part by two franchises based around a female character. It makes you wonder if this could lead the way to more women kicking butt in cinema . Logically, it seems other studios would want to follow suit. Success begets success. And we’re seeing that now with Marvel and Sony. Marvel did the unfathomable and changed Hollywood with its planned phase of releasing stand alone super hero movies and converging into an all-star epic blockbuster (The Avengers). Now Sony wants to capitalize on that practice, as they’re planning to release a variety of films/projects based on characters from the Spider-Man franchise and use them to further the film brand.  But I digress…

I would say have at it – we could do with more ladies leading they way in the hero/action genre. I worry, though, that the vast majority of producers still don’t know how to make or sell a female hero movie. Just because the lead is a woman doesn’t make it the “in” thing, or will it automatically make it a movie people want to see. The formula for success seems pretty simple: take an established female character with a fairly popular fan base, and get quality creatives (director, writer and right actors) to make an adaptation. I do stress the word “quality”.  Core fan base aside, you get what you give. I don’t think this much risk otherwise.

My notion is completely speculative, of course. I could be wrong in my thinking there’s going to be a boom in female hero films. Despite Lionsgate’s windfall, studio doo doo heads could still be singing the same old song that Catwoman, Elektra & Aeon Flux failed, and how there isn’t much of a market for female centric heroes (never mind the fact that those were just badly made films that clearly didn’t care about being remotely faithful to the comics.)… and that’s just sad.

Women are the future of film. Have at thee!

Source: The Wrap







Category: Film

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