Is Hollywood Marketing Action Movies To Women? | The Mary Sue
Skip to main content

Is Hollywood Making More of an Effort to Market Action Movies to Women This Summer?

Cautiously Optimistic


Reuters gives us an interesting look at this summer’s blockbusters and the marketing that accompanies them. Specifically, they’re calling it a trend towards marketing action movies to women. While I’m not quite prepared to call it a trend yet because I am feeling cynical today, their article does highlight a lot of interesting coincidences, at least. Lets take a look at their argument.

The article cites Sony’s first dabbling in a tie-in cosmetics line for one of their movies, with polish-maker OPI’s line of nail colors inspired by The Amazing Spider-Man, which has been advertised in women’s magazines like Lucky and O, The Oprah Magazine. The company’s head of world wide marketing even told Reuters that they made a specific commitment to feature female lead Gwen Stacy in the movie’s marketing, because while she might not be the hero, she is still an integral part of the movie’s story.

The Avengers, according to Reuters, also pushed its way into a number of magazines and television shows that target women as their main audience, with features on Live! with Kelly, Good Morning America, and an upcoming one on The View, as well as on the cover of Vogue and within the pages of Instyle, Elle, and more.

While The Dark Knight Rises is indeed only the second Batman movie to ever have more than one female lead characters appearing in it (the last time was Batman & Robin fifteen years ago), Reuters’ argument that it fits a new trend isn’t very persuasive to me. The fact that the trailer featured a few shots of Catwoman kicking and one clip of Marion Cotillard and Christian Bale kissing seems less like featuring and calling attention to a good female character and a romantic subplot, and more like how secondary female characters women who fight badguys and kiss good guys are generally featured in action movie trailers. (How these characters will actually be treated in the movie and my own theories about the obvious secret importance of Marion Cotillard’s character stand unrelated.)

Even the marketing of The Amazing Spider-Man seems specific to that movie’s situation: it’s a very fast reboot of a previously very young franchise, desperate to show that’s it’s got something new to say about the character. It doesn’t surprise me that in a summer where it’s up against the culmination of the most ambitious superhero cinema project ever, and the third and final installment of one of the franchises that if not kicked off at least firmly cemented the current wave of superhero movies to the movie industry… it’s looking to grab an unconventional superhero movie audience. Maybe an audience that’s interested in a little romance in its action movies, one that surely overlaps with the audiences of such egregiously profitable movies like the Twilight series and The Hunger Games.

Which brings me back to The Avengers, where I feel Reuters does, actually have a point. That’s an awful lot of push to the female demographic (despite what certain Moviefone writers and editors may think, and if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, trust me when I say that ignorance is bliss), and I’d even add one more element to the evidence list: Scarlett Johansson‘s Hollywood Star, unveiled yesterday with speeches from the actress and her Avengers costar Jeremy Renner. Clark Gregg was also in attendance, making the event just a couple actors short of a full S.H.I.E.L.D. roster. Here’s the video:

You can read the original Reuter’s article here.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.