Movie Stars: Women Box-Office Power

Female audiences empowered the weekend’s domestic box office in two new, vastly different pictures, which recieived wide release: “The Expendables” and “Eat Pray Love.” 

Genre and Gender

For decades, Hollywood wisdom has held that men (and boys) like actioners and adventures and horror flicks, while women favor softer “relationships” romances, drama, and comedies. Well, recent evidence has shown that young women (especially high school and college age) also like horror flicks and there’s growing support to the notion that they embrace the more macho genres of sci-fi and action-adventures.
The Expendables
First, women extended Lionsgate’s retro acyioner, “The Expendables,” directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, beyond its expected core male demographics to help claim the number one box-office spot, estimated to be $35 million at 3,270 locations.
“The Expendables” scored a considerable 39% of its audiences from women, of which 26% were over 25, while 72% of moviegoers for “Eat Pray Love” were women.
The weekends No. 2 title, Sony’s Julia Roberts starrer “Eat Pray Love,” based on Liz Gilbert’s best-selling memoirs, also drew an anticipated overwhelming response from women, debuting with an estimated $23.7 million at 3,082 engagements.
Star Driven
Both pictures are star-driven. In fact, Stallone’s anachronistic actioner, is sort a class reunion of all the genre’s stars of the past two decades.
Julia Roberts continues to show her bankability and commercial power when she makes conventional genre films; when she deviates, the results are no so good, as shown by the box-office results of “Cloder,” for example.
Critics had no impact on the box-office, again: Both “The Expendables” and “Eat Pray Love” have received mostly negative reviews.