Let’s forget for a moment that gallons of digital ink was spilled a year and a half ago when bloggers rushed to try to explain why 40% of all audiences going to see The Avengers – the third highest-grossing film of all time — was female. Let’s also pretend that people didn’t try to argue that this turnout was simply due to the fact that the movie was written and directed by feminist show runner, Joss Whedon. And that, as a result of his feminist credentials, we got Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Cobie Smulders’ Marie Hill, women who were not reduced to sex objects and — shockingly — had real, substantial roles to play in the movie that had nothing to do with being saved by, or falling in love with, men. Similarly, we should put aside the idea that the bare muscles and rock-hard asses of the lead male stars was the “real” cause for such a large female box office draw.
The point is simply that women went, and went in large numbers. And maybe it’s because The Avengers was a big, noisy, fun, silly superhero movie that people (which includes women) really enjoyed because it was big and noisy and fun and silly. Maybe we don’t need to sit down and scratch our heads and wonder when all these silly women wandered out of their most recent Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl films and realized that other movies do, in fact, exist.