Catching Fire Does Super Hero Numbers and Becomes Highest Opening Weekend Starring a Female Lead

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by Melissa Silverstein
November 25, 2013 12:00 PM
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My latest Forbes piece:

It's been a big fall for movies starring women at the box office. First, Gravity starring Sandra Bullock broke all October records. That film opened at over $55 million and now the worldwide box office total is at $577 million.  Catching Fire starring Jennifer Lawrence has seized the mantle and with an opening weekend gross of $161 million and has broken all November box office records. The film is the 4th biggest opening on record – and the top starring a woman. And it beat the opening of the first film in the series, The Hunger Games which opened in March of 2012 at $152 million.

How with numbers like this are we supposed to continue to believe the narrative that movies that star women don't make money?  It is time once and for all to retire the argument that women can't generate big box office dollars. The point is the right property -- and all these big movies are properties -- can generate huge numbers be it a male or female protagonist.

To add a little perspective. Iron Man 3 is currently the top grossing movie of the year opening this past May at $174 million, just a scant 13 million over Catching Fire. It is superhero movie starring a man and these are the movies that currently drive Hollywood. Thor: The Dark World another superhero film starring a man opened three weeks ago to $85 million. Its current gross in the US is $167 million.

Catching Fire almost beat that in one weekend. 

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