3 Reasons Why Guardians Of The Galaxy Was A Runaway Success
So Guardians of the Galaxy had a higher percentage of female viewers than most superhero films? Maybe we all just want a new story…
In the slew of comic books transformed into movies over the last few years, Guardians of the Galaxy is arguably the least well-known. Most people have the likes of Superman or Batman etched into their consciousness, but fewer are likely to be familiar with Rocket the talking racoon, Star Lord, Gamora or the tree-based lifeform Groot. More people will know about them now, as the film has proven to be a surprising (for some) success.
One element that seems to be resonating with news sites is that Guardians of the Galaxy had a high percentage of female viewers (44%). Seemingly more female viewers than other comic movies can boast. What has caused this apparently staggering phenomenon? What has caused genuine actual females to see a movie that isn’t a romantic comedy en masse?
It’s Not About a Super Cool, Lone Wolf Character
As the biggest-grossing comic book movie in the last few years, Avengers Assemble has a few things in common with Guardians: it’s about a rag-tag team of superheroes, each with their own strengths and quirks. Both movies break the traditional mould of comic book heroes, which usually has a single cool dude standing all alone… so alone… against evil.
X-Men is another team-based superhero franchise which fared well at the box offices – but the solo adventures of Wolverine in Wolverine Origins didn’t impress viewers as much. There may not be any solo super heroine movies as of yet, but the complex dynamics of a whole group (which by sheer weight of numbers is more likely to contain females) is more accessible than the angsty adventuring of one lone wolf.
It’s Fun and Fast-Paced
We’ve had our fair share of gritty superhero reboots and I get the feeling that the divide of opinion over Man of Steel and the celebration of Guardians is because the latter has so many laughs. I was walking through a town centre when I heard two women behind me laughing between themselves, saying how cute Groot was. I have no idea if those girls were already fans of comics, but they did really like Groot.
Realistic retellings of comic books are popular, but no longer a breath of fresh air. A decade after Batman Begins, it’s natural that we’re looking for something new. What’s a welcome relief from realistic portrayals of humans angsting over their abilities? Kick-ass heroes who just propel themselves through the story on a wing and a prayer, playing with tropes while they’re at it. Speaking of which…
It’s A New Story
Ask anyone Superman’s origins and they’ll be able to tell you. Or Batman, or Spiderman. These characters get reboots aplenty but we already know their story. We knew years ago, before they ran it through again.
Perhaps the most basic reason for the success of The Guardians is that we’ve never seen them before. The fate of the world may still be on the line, but at least it’s with a heap of characters we’re getting to know for the first time. This helps to cut down on potential geek elitism, establishing more of a level playing field for comics newcomers.
So… these are my three theories for why Guardians has proven to be so popular. Why didn’t I focus on the female characters or feminist tones? Because I think anyone expressing shock that women might see these films is insulting. It ignores the idea that people of any gender might just want to see good films. Guardians of the Galaxy is a strong sci-fi action movie with laughs, a fresh spin on superhero tropes and great characters who each have clearly established motivations.
It’s a good movie.
Why question the idea of women seeing good movies as though that’s suddenly a strange concept?