The Ladies Came Out Of Nowhere To Take Down The Biggest Swinging D*ck In Hollywood At The Box Office
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The Ladies Came Out Of Nowhere To Take Down The Biggest Swinging D*ck In Hollywood At The Box Office

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | January 10, 2014 | Comments ()


When last we met, I had some disappointing 2013 box office news to report. Only two of the top 100 grossing films of the year were directed by women. That’s pitiful and shameful and upsetting. But I’m back today with some good news. While Hollywood still might be too shy (aka entrenched in ritual sexism) to give women the reins of big budget, widely distributed films, that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom for women in Hollywood. Because when it comes to stories about ladies? Well, 2013 was a banner year.

Last week, in its seventh week in theaters, Frozen was the #1 movie at the box office. That’s bananas. It topped Scorsese’s boys club, Ron Burgundy’s frat house and Tolkien’s sausage fest (with a side of comely elf), Frozen has, all told, raked in over $300 million at the box office. Now it’s not as if Disney films are strangers to female leads. We’ve got a whole sweatshop industry based around the commodifications of princesses. But, arguably, the only other animated films to have raked in over $300 million (The Lion King, Shrek 2 and 3, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me 2, and Finding Nemo) all feature male leads and could be considered easier to market to both the male and the female demographic. (I say “arguably” because I’ve not forgotten about you, Dory.)


But, you know what, the times and the story tellin’, they are a-changin’. As we explored on this very site, the vastly superior Frozen isn’t your typical princess movie. It’s just refreshing to see the obvious effort the filmmakers made to tell a compelling and female-positive story pay off. Literally.

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In other box office news, late in the game, Catching Fire came from behind to topple Iron Man 3 and claim the #1 spot at the box office for 2013. That’s right Tony Stark, the biggest swinging d*ck in Hollywood, was taken down by a girl. What happens when you put a girl in the lead of an action movie, Hollywood? Over $400 million domestic happens. So, for those of you keeping track at home, the top five grossing films of 2013 were The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($409,389,000), Iron Man 3 ($409,013,994), Despicable Me 2 ($367,983,190), Frozen ($302,590,988 3,742) and Man of Steel ($291,045,518). Two out of five ain’t bad. With Gravity coming in at #7 with $255,805,704, we have to admit that 2013 wasn’t all bad. Especially because I’d much rather see Princess Anna and Queen Elsa or Katniss Everdeen and Dr. Ryan Stone top the box office then, god forbid, Bella Swan. It’s one thing to make a movie with a woman in the lead. It’s another thing entirely to make a great movie with a woman in the lead. If you can make a crapton of money while you do it, all the better. Because there’s one thing Hollywood understands and that’s dollar bills, y’all.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • PDamian

    Catching Fire, Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2 were wonderful, but I can't adequately express how utterly HAPPY Frozen made me feel. A cracking good story about two sisters, excellent music (I know everyone obsesses over "Let It Go," but the MN-based choral group Cantus singing "Vuelie" at the beginning of the film was awesome), and terrific voice performances in the service of a film about young women realizing their power ... FABULOUS!

  • I unabashedly have seen this TWICE in the theater (luckily I have 2 kids so I can pretend that's why we're going but it totally has nothing to do with them). This movie is a delight from head to toe. Music, character arc, gorgeous visuals, comedy. Forget top ten animation, I'm putting it on my top ten list overall.

  • Stephen Nein

    My daughter is up to four viewings. At her age, the only thing I saw in the theater that many times was Star Wars. I think it's cracking fantastic.

  • Jiffylush

    I watched this for the first time last night with my children who had already seen it. I was hesitant with all the singing at first (Hunchback flashbacks) but it was a great story and very enjoyable movie.

  • cheesy

    Maybe it's because I'm an oldest child. Maybe it's because I grew up emotionally stunted. Maybe it's because I always wanted ice powers, I don't know, but Frozen hit me harder and kept hitting me over and over. GAH.

    Unfortunately, the theater I saw it in had the sound cranked up too loud and the beginning sound was neigh incomprehensible. I will have to wait til it's on video to enjoy it.

  • NateMan

    I'd say the difference between female-centric stories and female directors is that Hollywood takes great stories and hands them over to men, despite the fact that many of them are about women in the first place. I think that it's been a great year for women in media - not necessarily as good as it could be, but still great. Many of the best movies, shows, and music of the year were what I might consider dominated by female characters. Catching Fire was the best new movie I saw (I love Iron Man 3, but it's spectacle, rather than story, and story wins in my book). I've heard almost nothing but good things about Frozen. Sleepy Hollow remains my favorite new show, and a big part of that is the sisters, their relationship and their strength. The best new comic I read was Captain Marvel - and the best news I heard about comics was Ms. Marvel becoming being restarted with a teenage Muslim girl in the role. The only 2 songs I remember from this year were Lorde's Royals (which is just awesome) and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. And while the latter might suck, it's gotten a lot of people talking about rape culture in ways that have never been so public, which is just awesome, and helped organizations like Project Unbreakable enter the mainstream. Beyonce's surprise album drop pretty much blew any male music news out of the water. Great books, great music, great movies and shows... Oh, and the best video game of the year (Last of Us) might not have had a woman as the main character, but had one for its heart and soul, and everyone knew it.

    It's not perfect by any means, and it still needs work. But IMO it's been a great year for women in popular culture. But then, the work day is almost done, it's almost the weekend, and I feel cheery. So don't spoil it for me!

  • kirbyjay

    Just marathoned The Walking Dead from S1-3 and I'm lovin the gun totin, knife wieldin Zombie bashin ladies in this show. You do not survive if you are a whiny, helpless female, Judith excluded. These ladies tote automatic weapons over their shoulders like the latest Coach bag. The metamorphisis of Carol from meek, abused wife and grief stricken mom to soldier with a heart...Damn! Love it.

  • Stellamaris2012

    Just wanted to toss in my love for Sleepy Hollow, a show that not only has a fantastic female lead, but one that has a fantastic cast all around. Is it sad that, in this day and age, I found myself so pleasantly surprised to be watching a tv show that is cast with predominantly black actors but is not considered a "black" show (what with all the stupid connotations that implies)? I think it is. But there I was, silently cheering on the fact that mainstream tv was showing Abbie, Jenny and Frank struggling with whatever problems befell them. They just happened to be African American. Anyways. LOVE that show. (Tom Mison ain't hard on the eyes, either).

  • Ben

    It didn't even occur to me that 3 out of 4 of the main character in it were black till your post. That's actually super impressive for a network show. Go sleepy hollow!

  • linnyloo

    I've been re-watching Star Trek DS9 and have been continually impressed with how that show handles diversity without making it A Big Deal. Regularly, entire scenes will only feature one white male actor as a matter of course, and they managed to do it effortlessly.

  • NateMan

    Absolutely agree. It's fantastic to see a 'mainstream' show cultivate characters of different ethnicities - I'd add John Cho in there as well, who does something amazing with his undead, cowardly character.

  • fracas

    I'm not sure Tony's the biggest swinging dick in Hollywood. With that shiny red and gold ride of his, he might be compensating.

  • Sean

    Biggest swinging dick is probably Jordan Belfort.

  • Three_nineteen

    Tony likes strong women, one of whom saved him in his own movie this year. He seems comfortable enough.

  • linnyloo

    True! And Iron Man 3 had a scene in it that broke the Bechdel test, too. (just one scene, but considering how few movies of that kind even come close, it's still nice.)

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