Are female action stars about to eclipse the macho men of Hollywood after a disastrous summer at the box office?
Traditional male-led, big budget productions which once targeted young men such as Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow or Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, failed to raise the temperature.
It comes as takings over the summer months across North America fell by nearly twenty per cent from the same period last year. As a consequence, a big rethink to change gear is now in the offing. A series of blockbusters dominated by women are being planned, including new versions of Ghostbusters and The Expendables, where the leading characters will be female.
Among the few successful big budget summer superhero films was Guardians of the Galaxy which took £56 million in its opening weekend at the start of August, mainly thanks to its popularity with women. Its female audience accounted for forty-four per cent, which is unusual for such a film which also had the distinction of being a superhero film written by a woman, Nicole Perlman.
The studio executives have thus been encouraged to capitalise on what they believe to be the new trend. Another factor which loomed high in their decision and spurred them on was the summer success of Lucy in which Scarlett Johansson, a beautiful star currently making all the right waves, played a character who develops superhuman powers.
The film trounced its rival Hercules when they opened in the same week with fifty per cent of the audience for Lucy being female. As a result, Johansson may now be lined up as the superhero Black Widow in a stand-alone blockbuster, having previously played the character as a supporting role in a male-led action film, The Avengers.
In 2016 Wonder Woman will also be brought to the big screen, played by the sexy Israeli actress Gal Gadot, in the superhero epic Batman v Superman. The character is likely to get top billing after that.
What does all this tell us? Like everything else, women are on the march in every walk of life. In politics we have the indomitable Angela Merkel calling the shots in Europe. In literature we have an illustrious group emerging as never before, enriching our heritage of the written word. In music the number of talented women playing instruments has invaded world orchestras, while in every creative field they feature above the parapet and their presence is not only acknowledged but hailed with great enthusiasm.
No wonder the astute moneymen in Hollywood have woken up to the fact that women who have reached the summit of their sexual liberation attract both genders with such power as to make men wince in fear of losing their generic dominance.
Women’s stride is unstoppable. If the moguls of Hollywood have come to their senses, why shouldn’t we? The world will be in better nick if femininity and sex were to be elevated, instead of being sneered at. Perhaps then the violence in this world will not only diminish but herald the advent of a new era, where men and women enjoy the gifts that their creator has so lavishly endowed them and live in harmony in their environment.
It is also worth remembering that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.