Is Hollywood actually starting to get it? Do the people who hold he purse strings finally realize that putting a woman at the head of a big blockbuster movie can be as lucrative as putting a man at the top?
Maybe. This weekend 300: Rise of an Empire opens in 3,470 theaters across the country. According to Exhibitor Relations, the film is expected to top the box office with $48 million. And while the 2007 original was all about a bunch of greased up men with incredible six-packs hacking each other to bits, this one stars a women (who, it looks like, also hacks people to bits).
The fact that Eva Green is at the head of a lot of the fighting in the new film isn’t expected to keep people out of the theaters. In fact many reviewers have called Green out as the best thing in the movie. From Ann Hornaday’s reviewin The Washington Post:
Oddly, for a franchise founded on the bedrock of man flesh and macho posturing, it’s the women of “Rise of an Empire” who make the most impact: Lena Headey, as Spartan Queen Gorgo, makes serious, focused use of her lamentably limited time on screen, and Green rips into her ruthless anti-heroine with throaty gusto, not to mention an endless supply of beautifully draped leather and chain mail.
Maybe Green will even help bring some women into the theater. Although plenty of women went to see 300, it was a serious testosterone ride. This one looks much more interesting.
I think we’re seeing baby steps here by the big Hollywood studios to cast more women in major franchises. Thank Jennifer Lawrence. The Hunger Gamesfranchise has been an enormous hit bringing in $1.5 billion at the global box office. The second movie was the highest-grossing film in America last year (beating Iron Man 3). Scarlett Johansson has a much bigger role in the upcoming Captain America sequel than she did in The Avengers and Wonder Woman is finally set to make her debut on the big screen in upcoming Batman/Superman film which hits theaters in 2016.
The more female-topped films rake it in at the box office, the less excuses the studios will have not to make movies with female leads. Here’s hoping 300: Rise of an Empire gets Hollywood one step closer to that goal.