Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opened this weekend and crushed box office estimates with a record breaking $94 million in sales, marking the biggest opening for an August film since the $69.2 million release of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. What’s more… a record number of women went to see this comic book adaptation about an alliance of inter-gallactic misfits on a mission to save the universe.
According to Box Office Mojo, movie theater exit polls indicated that the Guardians audience was 44 percent female, which is the biggest share ever for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (the previous high was 40 percent for The Avengers).
So what’s with the uptick in appeal to women? Is it simply because Marvel Studios has been on a crazy, can-do-no-wrong, roll of making really entertaining films, of late? Has this lead more women to realize that comic book adaptations are not just for teen boys who spend their days locked in suburban basements lost in cartoon/video fantasy worlds? Is it because A-list actors like Bradley Cooper (Rocket) and Vin Diesel (Groot) provide the voices of two of the film’s characters? Or is it because of Zoe Saldana (Gamora)… an actress widely viewed as being a strong woman, playing a badass female character? FYI – Gamora is known in the comic book world as the most dangerous woman in the galaxy.
We’d venture to guess it’s a combination of all of the above. But what we do know for sure is that if filmmakers like Marvel continue to entertain us, rather than insult us, women will keep going to the box office.