The new Star Wars movie is gearing up to be one of the hottest releases of 2015, and to help meet box office projections, the Walt Disney Company is trying to harness the power of female movie-goers. Trailers for The Force Awakens have been running during television programs (like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Jane the Virgin) that rank high among women viewers, and a slew of female-oriented paraphernalia — Stormtrooper necklaces, R2-D2 purses, BB-8 dresses — are among the merchandise that has been released in association with the new film. And that is to say nothing of The Force Awaken’s robust female cast: the lead character is played by newcomer Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie will take on the role of the franchise’s first female villain, and Carrie Fisher will reprise her role as Princess Leia, who is now known as General Leia.
Disney is not the only studio to recognize female audiences’ ability to catapult a film into blockbuster status. Stars of Marvel Studio’s The Avengers, for example, promoted the film on The View, and the sequel Age of Ultron boasted two female leads. Women made up about 40 percent of the opening weekend audience for both movies. Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co., told Reuters that when it comes to Star Wars, “The guys are already in. If you can get that Hunger Games and Twilight fan base to join up, then you are talking about possibly $700 million domestically, maybe even more.”
Read the full story at Reuters.