For too long, the world of superhero films has been dominated by men. Captain Marvel, the latest release from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, proves that those days just might be over.
Marvel’s first female superhero film, starring Oscar-winner Brie Larson, earned $153 million this past opening weekend in the U.S. Combined with international sales of $302 million, the total earnings thus far come to a whopping $455 million.
Not only do these numbers make Captain Marvel the most successful opening of 2019, it’s also the biggest success for a female-led film, um, ever, and the second largest superhero film (behind Avengers: Infinity Wars). It’s also the the sixth-best worldwide opening of all time. Casual.
As Larson points out in her interview with The Hollywood Reporter, women are long overdue for this kind of recognition. “I know it’s exciting and fun to be like, ‘Will it sink or will it float?’ ‘What’s going to happen?’ ‘Can women exist in the world?’ ‘We’re not sure yet!'” she said. “But women have been opening movies since the silent era. We have been part of every major art movement. People just push us away once the movement gains momentum and act like we were never really there.”
Come to find out, audiences have been ready and waiting for female superheroes, and they are willing to spend their hard-earned dollars watching them in theaters. In 2017, Wonder Woman (starring Gal Gadot) became the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all time. At this year’s Oscars, more women were nominated than ever; 54 women were nominated within the 20 non-gendered categories, in comparison to last year’s 44. Progress is slow, but clearly, it’s happening.
It’s shocking that anyone would believe that female heroes can’t sell tickets, but if there’s still any doubt, the numbers just don’t lie. Hopefully, this year sees even more female-driven stories breaking even more records.