The Guardians of the Galaxy now own the galaxy
At this point, I’m convinced that the people at Marvel Studios are committing blood sacrifices under a new moon to ensure their success. They’ve already broken the April box office record with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and now, with Guardians of the Galaxy racking up $94.3 million in its opening weekend, they have the August record as well. The weekend’s take puts the Guardians right in Captain America’s neighborhood, with only a $700,000 difference between one of Marvel’s best known and least known properties. Marvel could make a movie about a piece of dryer lint and it would gross a billion dollars.
Guardians is a true four-quadrant movie, rating Marvel’s highest female attendance since The Avengers—44%—and 55% of the audience was over 25, neatly dividing the audience into near-perfect quadrants. So what was the draw for such a broad audience? Well, Zoe Saldana featured prominently in the ad campaign, so that didn’t hurt in terms of bringing women to the theater. But mostly this was a terrible summer for mainstream releases. (The indie box office is fine—have you seen Snowpiercer yet? It’s on demand, no excuses.) Audiences were hungry for ANYTHING that looked even remotely good, and Guardians was the best-looking movie to come along since May. So while there are tangential factors like “Zoe Saldana” and “blood sacrifice”, it comes down to a quality-starved audience.
Marvel is, for better or worse, a trusted name brand for quality blockbuster filmmaking. People don’t care what movie they’re selling, if it says “Marvel” on the tin—or, more specifically, “From the people who brought you Iron Man and The Avengers”—people are buying. Which means that this time next year, no one is going to remember the Edgar Wright divorce. They’ll be lining up in droves to see Ant-Man just because it’s a Marvel movie, and who cares if they don’t know what an Ant Man is.
It makes the lack of a female-lead movie all the more infuriating. Marvel is the best game going right now, the ones who have making and selling superhero movies down to a science, but they’d rather let hapless Sony try to figure out the superheroine thing with their Spider-Man thumb shoved up their Sinister Six ass. Sony’s Monday announcement of a female superhero movie was a clear and cynical political ploy to detract from yet another banner Marvel Monday, but the bosses at Marvel were too busy bathing in the blood of virgin goats to notice Sony waving its dick.
Allegedly, Marvel is prepping a Captain Marvel movie, but given the lost-in-the-desert-level thirst for a female-driven project, I don’t get why they won’t just say, definitively, that yes, we are working on this, and you will see it before the fox and the hen lay together, just like the gypsy woman said. But in fact it’s the complete opposite; in recent comments Marvel chief Kevin Feige said that it’d sure be neat if someone could figure out how to make a lady movie, and boy, wouldn’t it be nice if there was just someone who happened to be in control a movie studio that could get a female-drive comic book movie made?
Feige can be cagey but he isn’t in the habit of outright lying. When he’s got nothing to say, he just says nothing (see also: Comic Con 2014). So if he’s saying nothing, then I have to assume that there is really nothing to discuss. But whatever, f*ck it, I’m sure that Marvel’s Dryer Lint: The Movie will be a thrilling experience, and Sony’s Whatever The F*cking F*ck Girl We Can Figure Out and maybe even Warner Brothers’ Wonder Woman: Lady Business will be winners, too. Assuming any of these projects ever leave the dick-waving phase and become about making a real movie, that is.
F*ck. I need a drink.
Attached – Chris Pratt and Anna Faris out together yesterday after Guardians owned the box office.