Because apparently this is my new yearly ritual for Women In Horror Month! If you missed my ten-year retrospective from last year, follow this tag
. My barometers (that I almost never stick to rigidly, but it helps me focus) are: grossed $25 million or higher domestically by the end of the previous year, and starring a female protagonist. I also include an “honorable mention” of the next movie down on the box office gross. My source for the numbers is BoxOfficeMojo.com.
If a movie is in (parentheses) it means I haven’t seen it yet and/or can’t tell from the marketing or trailer if the protagonist is a woman.
For this year, I’m including sci-fi thrillers as well as straight-up horror movies because it was a pretty cool year for genre films in general, especially with female protagonists, and I want to talk about alllll of them! Also, instead of doing capsule reviews like I did before, I’m going to focus on a different movie in each post. We’ll see how many I can get through before the end of the month. Let’s DO THIS!!Ghostbusters
- $128.4 millionThe Conjuring 2
- $90.8 million(Don’t Breathe)
- $89.2 million(The Purge: Election Year)
- $79 million10 Cloverfield Lane
- $72.1 millionLights Out
- $67.3 million(The Shallows)
- $55.1 million(Passengers)
- $45.3 million(Nerve)
- $38.6 million(The Boy)
- $35.9 million(Ouija: Origin of Evil)
- $35 million(When the Bough Breaks)
- $29.8 millionThe Forest
- $26.6 millionThe Witch
- $25.1 million
Honorable mention: (Blair Witch)
- $20.1 million
So, remember back during the summer when everyone was convinced that the Ghostbusters
remake was going to be some kind of colossal failure? And after it came out, there were all these think pieces trying to explain why no one was watching it and how reviews were lukewarm and it was okay but not that great? Well, I dunno what your personal experience was with this movie, but GUESS WHAT? It’s not only topping the list, it’s topping it at more than $25 million ahead
of the next-highest place on the list. BOO-YAH! Emphasis on the “BOO!”
Abbie and Holtzmann doing their happy high-five dance
The other thing I saw mentioned--and this was the case in my theater too--was the number of little girls in the audience who were super excited to be there. The upcoming generation now has something I never had growing up: an all-female team of superheroes to look up to. And that is rad as Hell
. Making a version of Ghostbusters
with all women means something to me, and to the kids seeing this movie as their first exposure to the franchise. It's not just about the brand, or the Hollywood remake machine, or the nostalgic craze for the 80s and 90s that's permeating All The Things right now. This is a movie with a team of women, all in their thirties and forties, all unmarried and childless, who are struggling financially but uniquely intelligent and driven to do some good in the world, none of whom have any romantic entanglements whatsoever, who are never ogled by either the camera or any of the other characters at any time, who come to their big, climactic battle scene dressed in loose-fitting tan jumpsuits, sensible shoes, and their hair tied back.
For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a movie I can point to full of role models that I don't need to defend or justify in any way. The fact that this is rare enough to comment on is a bit sad--as is my understanding that there are still way too many people who were left out here representation-wise. What I'm trying to say is we female geeks have been taking whatever scraps the world sees fit to throw at us for decades. Still, given how often I've gotten my hopes up and been disappointed in the past, I'm clinging to this movie like a lifeline. Despite its flaws. I didn't know how much I needed it until we were driving home and I was still beaming like a fool. Every time I’ve watched it since then, I love it just a little bit more.