The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens today. Thankfully, Bella’s run as a leading lady waiting for her smitten men to save the day is coming to an end. While there are plenty of reasons to hope the next blockbuster vampire franchise leans more toward Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fans of movies with strong female leads have reasons to be thankful for the angst-ridden vampire-versus-werewolf saga.
Brent Lang at TheWrap.com details “How ‘Twilight’ Made the Movie Business Respect Girl Power.”
What is radical about the vampire romances, which wrap up their mega-grossing run this week with the release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” is that they forced studio executives to acknowledge that fanboys can be fangirls too.
“It’s actually remarkable what the ‘Twilight’ franchise was able to do for girl power,” Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, told TheWrap. “Before this people didn’t know if girls could carry a franchise like ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Harry Potter.’ It really did change the paradigm and perceptions about what people will go see.”
At io9, Charlie Jane Anders gives us “9 Reasons to be Grateful for Twilight.” Although Number 1 (The Vampire Diaries) and Number 5 (more shirtless dudes) are reason enough, it’s Number 9 that turned the seemingly worst story for women into probably one of the most important transitional moments for the future of storytelling about women.
9. Women and girls at San Diego Comic Con and other fan spaces
San Diego Comic Con always had a better gender balance than people gave it credit for — but Twilight really launched the whole “women camping out for three days” thing, and made female attendees way more visible. For the past few years, whichever day the Twilight panel was, that day Hall H belonged to the Twi-hards. There won’t be any more Twilight panels at Comic Con, but we’re guessing the highly visible presence of excited female con-goers is a permanent fixture now — they’ll just gravitate towards all the other stuff they love, including TV shows and comics. Just like in books and movies, Twilight has helped kick down the barriers and redefine fandom. And that’s probably the number one reason to thank Stephenie Meyer for it.
With barriers fallen, here’s to looking forward to Katniss’ unfolding heroine’s journey in Catching Fire next November and many more heroines to come!
Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She also writes about Star Wars for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Suvudu.com and for Star Wars Insider magazine.
In her spare time, Tricia puts the finishing touches on her first novel, Wynde. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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