Does Twilight's Success Mean More Movies for Girls?

10 Dec, 2009 | Film

Originally published December 2009 on the now-defunct

Forgive my somewhat patronising title, but having read a few articles about ‘twihards’ (big fans of the Twilight films/books) and this article about Beautiful Creatures, plus the fact that New Moon is currently riding high in the global box office I have to wonder if we’ll see more films targeted at a female audience.

New Moon currently has a worldwide box office take of about $473 million and it’s still topping several charts.  It had an estimated production budget of $50 million.  Compare that to the current top three for 2009:

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $929m (BO), $250m (budget)
  2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: $878m (BO), $90m (budget)
  3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $833m (BO), $200m (budget)

That makes New Moon, which has only been on release 10 days, a big money-spinner.  What’s the highest grossing film of all-time (arguably)?  Titanic.  Another chick-flick.  Mamma Mia managed a respectable $609m from a $52m budget and is the highest grossing film of all-time in the UK.  Looking at Box Office Mojo’s all-time chart also puts chick-flicks the highest grossing adjusted for inflation (Gone with the Wind) and movies that never hit top-slot in the rankings (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Now, the typical movie-goer, in the minds of the biz, are young and predominantly male, which is why you get films like Hitman, Max Payne and Gamer (although the stats here suggest the reality is otherwise: 46% of men/boys and 42% of women/girls are said to attend; these stats suggest the age range is skewed low, but isn’t overwhelming so).

I’ve read various books on the movie industry and one reason for the skew in action movies is said to be they translate well (because they don’t rely on lots of dialog) for the global market, another is they are effects driven instead of relying on star power or performances which don’t translate too well.

Looking at the rise (and this isn’t something new) of films that seem to be aimed squarely at a female audience I’d be surprised if Hollywood (which is predominantly male) doesn’t wake up and realise the cash-generating potential of high-profile movies designed to appeal to women and I expect to see a lot more of them.