In one little weekend The Hunger Games has managed to topple the dominance of the Twilight empire and send Jennifer Lawrence skyrocketing to a level of fame that she will likely never come back from, but the real success isn’t about the box office records or who the new Kristen Stewart is, it’s about changing the way Hollywood views women.
For years studio executives have harbored under the false notion that no one wants to go see an action film with a female lead, and then along came a little film about a bow and arrow wielding young Katniss Everdeen. Granted the movie had a best-selling book trilogy to back it up, there’s a reason it surpassed Twilight in its opening weekend box officeÂ—the story appeals to a very broad audience despite having a female lead. While Stephanie Meyer’s vampire romance sent millions of teenage girls swooning, most men weren’t exactly clamoring to hit the theatre, other than those hoping to score brownie points with girlfriends. Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, on the other hand, is a non-stop action-packed story, the kind that usually stars the likes of Will Smith or Shia LaBeouf, only this one doesn’t.
The $152 million smash has proven that audiences do want to see kick-ass heroines like Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss. As Phil Contrino of Boxoffice.com suggests, “People were hungry for something like this. Now everyone will be looking for the next ‘Hunger Games’ instead of every male-driven, Will Smith action film.”
Much like the reaction to the success of last summer’s female-driven comedy, Bridesmaids, hopefully Hollywood will sit up and take note that it’s not just a boy’s club anymore and people actually want to see women kicking butt… and making poop jokes on the big screen.