After the success of Wonder Woman, Disney’s Marvel is soon coming with Captain Marvel which will see Brie Larson in charge, escalating the presence of women in the superhero genre.
Leading box-office analysts predict that female-led superhero movies will emerge as the next wave of Hollywood hits.
“Female superheroes should be a consistent presence going forward. As the stunning success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians has taught us, representation matters,” Karie Bible, a box office analyst for movie consulting firm Exhibitors Relations, told CNBC.
“Women want to see themselves reflected on screen and empowered. Why should the men get to have all the fun?”
Earlier, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins became the first female superhero film to gross $821 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing film directed by a woman.
Marvel’s Black Panther also fetched a lot of praise for its female characters and went on to gross a whopping $1.3 billion worldwide. In the wake of these successes, both the studios will hopefully continue to diversify with more films, given the box office success exhibited by these two films.
“They’re reading the temperature of the room,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for BoxOffice.com. “Slowly but surely, the industry is moving toward equal representation in terms of who runs the studios, who make the movies and whose faces we see on the big screen.”
Robbins also added that Gadot’s Wonder Woman has now become the “indisputable foundation of the current DC universe.”
Analyst Karie Bible also added that these female-led films will find themselves under more scrutiny than their male counterparts.
“If they aren’t successful, it will give studio executives and industry pundits reason to believe that female superheroes or action films don’t make money and won’t in the future,” Bible said. “Men are allowed to fail, but women are given fewer chances and the stakes seem higher. There is little margin for error.”
Disney is also anticipating a box office hit with next year’s Captain Marvel, which hits the theatres on March 8. Marvel has also revealed its first female director, Anna Boden who will be directing Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johannson in the lead.
Chloe Zhao has also been set by Marvel for The Eternals, as promised by Kevin Feige who looks forward to the diversifying of behind the camera talent. Marvel has featured Wasp, played by Evangeline and Scarlet Witch, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen in its universe until now along with Scarlet Johannson. Olsen is also rumoured to be slated for her own standalone series on the upcoming DC’s streaming service.
“I’m anxious for the time where it’s not a novelty that there is a female-led superhero movie, but it is a norm,” he told EW. “And it is less a story of, ‘Oh, look, a female hero,’ and it’s more a story of, ‘Oh, what’s this about? Who’s this character? I’m excited to see that.’ And I think we can get there.”
Similarly, DC is set to bring Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey which will see Harley Quinn teaming up with Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya. The sequel to Wonder Woman is also underway and will hopefully release in 2019. A spinoff to Batgirl and Supergirl is also expected to be helmed by a female director
“Realistically, there is still a segment of culture represented by vocal dissenters,” Robbins explained. “The latter kind of thought is fading with each generation, though, and frankly, not nearly as strong as the demand for good movies starring characters of all genders, colors and backgrounds.”