Conventional Hollywood wisdom has it that women alone can’t carry a film — but in 2011, they’ve already beaten the boys 40 per cent of the time.
Movies led by women have won two out of five of the first weekends this year.
First, Natalie Portman soared to first place with “No Strings Attached” (we’re giving her the credit over Ashton Kutcher, whose summer blockbuster “Killers” was an epic flop). To date, “Strings” has grossed nearly $52 million.
Then, this past weekend, Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly’s thriller “The Roommate” took the top spot, earning $15.6 million.
And it’s only February. There’s a lot of year left — and 2011’s coming attractions are full of girl-driven pics. So who stands to capitalise on the momentum jump-started by these bankable actresses?
Amanda Seyfried has become a star in her own right -- but what 'Red Riding Hood' really has going for it is its undeniable Twi-vibes. Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first 'Twilight' film, is at the helm -- and the subject matter seems poised to mesmerize fantasy-obsessed tweens and teens. Release date: March 11.
Abbie Cornish and Vanessa Hudgens (pictured) star in this girl-power action flick from director Zack Snyder. With films like '300' and 'Watchmen' under his belt, Snyder has an impassioned following who will surely follow him to the box office for this film. Release date: March 25.
The 'Scream' series is back, and with it stars Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell -- as well as newcomers Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere. Let's face it -- guys don't look good screaming, and these ladies do. And at a time when horror films are having a major resurgence, revisiting the classic franchise seems like a sure bet. Release date: April 15.
Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin star in this big-screen adaptation of 'Something Borrowed' by Emily Giffin. The book is one of the biggest beach reads in recent history; the movie, timed for a sunny May release, will likely be a pre-brunch juggernaut. And don't forget that last time Kate Hudson did a best-friends flick -- 'Bride Wards' -- it had a $21 million opening weekend. Release date: May 6.
The comedy starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph is already one of the most-buzzed-about films of the year -- especially since it's the first female-centric film from Judd Apatow. And as box office bottom lines show year after year, the wedding movie is an inexhaustibly popular genre. Release date: May 13.
OK, this is probably the first and last time you'll see the clandestine JJ Abrams/Steven Spielberg collaboration referred to as a 'female-driven film.' What it's mostly being driven by, at this point, is the shroud of secrecy that has fan boys going insane. But that doesn't change the fact that at the heart of the film are 12-year-old Elle Fanning (pictured) and Amanda Michalka. Release date: June 10.
This adaptation of Katherine Stockett's best-selling novel stars Emma Stone -- but she'll be surrounded by an ensemble of serious actors' actors: Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek and Allison Janney are among them. 'The Help' is a book club favourite, and women will likely turn out in droves to see a big-screen take that seems like it could achieve the rare feat of matching the book's magic. Release date: August 12.
Since 'Avatar,' Zoe Saldana's been honing her gun-toting, butt-kicking skills, and 'Colombiana' gives her a first chance to show them off as a front-and-centre star. Saldana plays an assassin out to avenge her parents' murder. Release date: September 2.
Anna Faris has emerged as a brainy-ditz heroine in the vein of Lucille Ball, and 'What's Your Number?' should be a perfect match for her skill set. The title is a sly nod to her character's number of hookup conquests -- and like 'No Strings Attached,' it puts a woman in the dating driver's seat. Release date: September 30.
Critics are already keeping an eye on this film from director David Wain, in which Jennifer Aniston supposedly shakes up her typical highlights-and-wisecracks persona (note the glasses!). A bonus for the Aniston aficionados among us -- it re-pairs the actress with Paul Rudd, her co-star in 'The Object of My Affection.' Release date: October 7.
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