Women are Owning the Box Office, Both Onscreen and In Seats

“The whole notion of the summer blockbuster has always been built around young men,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior box office analyst, told The New York Times. But given recent Hollywood box office results, that longstanding tradition seems like it might topple. Dergarabedian continued, “The clout and importance of the female audience has never been bigger.”

Over this weekend, action movie “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” topped the box office, followed by Disney’s “Cinderella” remake. Women made up 60 percent of the "Insurgent" audience, and 66 percent of "Cinderella"’s. Adding “Fifty Shades of Grey,” (67 percent female), women have delivered the three biggest live-action openings of the year. 

And it’s not just because those were the only movies—male centric films like “Jupiter Ascending,” “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” and “Chappie,” opened in the same period. 

This is good news for viewers who appreciate depth, the Times notes. Films that aim “narrow and deep,” like “Cinderella” or high school comedy “The DUFF,” are gaining great traction, showing that films don’t have to capture a male audience to succeed, and it’s possible to rely on storyline, rather than any special effects. As Allison Shearmur, producer of “Cinderella,” says, “We’ve got to make more movies that have a compelling core story. The audience still comes when the story is strong, when we can laugh or cry or be afraid in a theater together.”

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