(h/t Natalia Antonova)
Much like the comic world, the Hollywood blockbuster world has pretty much been predicated upon the male 13-24 demographic. Hell, most of the recent Hollywood blockbuster movies have been comic movies, led of course by The Dark Knight this summer, as well as Iron Man, The Hulk…you know the drill.
But according to CNN’s Screening Room, the success of Twilight has thrown a new demographic into the mix: teen girls.
Having been a teen girl whose favorite movies were Speed (yes, I know) and The Crow (which was one of the things that led me to comics), I can safely vouch for the fact that teenage girls will indeed go see big action movies, even ones based on comics. I’d bet that more than half the Harry Potter movies’ audience has been girls, and a good chunk of the audience for this summer’s big comic flicks as well.
Indeed, the conventional wisdom seems to have been that movies with a male target audience are a safer bet because girls will go see “boys’” movies but the reverse is not true.
But Twilight blew the archetypal boys’ movie, Quantum of Solace, out of the water. So Hollywood may be taking notice of this demographic as one that can drive a movie on its own.
Twilight is different than the Hannah Montanas and High School Musicals because it’s genre fiction for teen girls. Though at its core it’s still a romance series, there’s plenty of action and it might be a little more palatable to boys.
More importantly, for the comic industry, the Twilight generation is the manga generation. Though DC had a hard time selling Minx books, the success of the Twilight books should prove that there’s a rabid audience of teen girls who are into genre fiction, as long as it’s written for them as well. The problem is, as always, getting them into comic shops.
It makes me happy to see a movie driven by a female lead, with a female director and screenwriter, based on novels by a female author, tops at the box office. But it would make me even happier if we could move away from the stereotypes of “male” and “female” movies. Girls like action movies (and comics) and boys like love stories–there’s a reason Superman and Spiderman have long-lasting love interests, and it ain’t to suck in the female readers.