10 of the most well-known woman-led film franchises
Woman-led film franchises
For the first time, the secret agent number 007 will reportedly be assigned to a black woman, Lashana Lynch. The global film industry has for long been dominated by white males but the shakeup has begun.
A look at 10 of the most well-known woman-led film franchises.
The Bridget Jones series
The first film in the series based on the novel by Helen Fielding became iconic for Renee Zellweger’s portrayal of a 30-something, overweight single woman dealing with her life, including romances. It earned Zellweger an Oscar for Best Actress and led to two more films, the last being Bridget Jones’s Baby released in 2017. Cumulatively, the films have earned over $750 million.
The six-film series revolves around a woman who is trying to uncover her past while battling zombies created by an evil company. It is the highest grossing action film series based on a video game, mopping up over $1.2 billion. The last, Resident Evil: Final Chapter, was released in 2016. A revival is in the works.
One of the most famous slasher franchises, the four-film series revolves around Sidney Prescott, the protagonist, and her fight against a series of murderers who don the role of Ghostface. Apart from Neve Campbell, who plays Prescott, the series also starred Courteney Cox and David Arquette. Together, the series garnered over $600 million at the box office.
Gal Gadot took on the role of DC Comics’ Amazon princess Diana in the first film of the series, where she attempts to stop World War II. It became the highest grossing superhero original story film, earning over $800 million. A sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, is in the works and likely to be released in 2020.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
It might have been panned by critics but the film became synonymous with Angelina Jolie and earned her legions of fans and is considered a box office hit, earning over $270 million. The 2001 film was followed by a sequel, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and, more recently, a reboot, starring Alicia Vikander, released in 2018.
A spoof on horror films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, the first of the five movies in this franchise was the biggest hit. It featured a bunch of teenagers accidentally knocking down an old man with their car. The last of the five films was released in 2013 and was not successful but, cumulatively, the series made over $800 million.
The Twilight series
Director Catherine Hardwicke said that people expected the first “vampire film” would do moderately well; instead, it went on to gross over $400 million worldwide, and is considered to have led the way for a women-centric, teenage film series. The five-film vampire saga went on to become a billion-dollar franchise and catapulted Stewart and costar Robert Pattison to global fame.
The Hunger Games
Lawrence plays the central role of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in the series set in a dystopian future where children are forced to kill each other for the entertainment of the wealthy. The four-film series grossed close to $3 billion worldwide, the last being out in 2015.
It began as a television series about a detective agency run by “Charlie” and three beautiful detectives in the 1970s, and went on to become a franchise that includes films and an animated web series. The third film, with a new set of “Angels” including Kristen Stewart, is set to be released towards the end of 2019.
The Quentin Tarantino action films, released in two parts in 2003 and 2004, were a hit. Uma Thurman plays The Bride, or the Black Mamba, who is seeking revenge on the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, an international group of assassins. The film pays tributes to various genres and actors, including Bruce Lee, and was written by Tarantino and Thurman.
(Source: The Guardian, Jezebel, Newsweek, Business Insider)