When a strong woman is flying high someone will sadly always have something negative to say about it, and the same has been true for Brie Larson and 'Captain Marvel'; during the days leading up to the film's premiere, trolls were attacking the actress and attempting to sabotage the film's success by giving low fake reviews online. However, as was made clear by the International Women's Day marches which took place worldwide last Friday, coinciding with the film's premiere date, nothing can hold down a woman's power and 'Captain Marvel' soared to the top of box office charts all over the world, becoming one of the most lucrative opening weekends in history.
The backlash against Larson began as a result of her requesting more diversity in press conference rooms. When she explained that the critics to whom she speaks are "overwhelmingly white male" and promised to make her press days "more inclusive", somehow many seemed to think that this was a form of discrimination against white men. Further criticism of the actress came as as a result of her actual performance in the film, solely based on the minutes-long trailers: trolls claimed that Larson did not smile enough. Apparently it is still deemed acceptable to tell a woman to smile more... even when she is an Oscar-Winning actress playing an all-powerful superhero. These internet trolls attempted (and failed) to sabotage the film's success bombing Rotten Tomatoes with fake reviews to reduce its rating, lowering the score to only 51%.It was Brie Larson who ended up having the last laugh, however, with 'Captain Marvel' achieving one of the most successful opening weekends of all time. Reports from Forbes show that in the US alone it make $153 million dollars, making it the second biggest debut film of a Marvel superhero ever, falling just behind 'Black Panther'. This figure also places it seventh in the list of all Marvel launches in the US. Only in its first few days, 'Captain Marvel' has already made $455 million in worldwide box office, placing it sixth on the list of biggest global launches of all time. Looking at the audience demographic strikes an additional blow to the internet trolls' mission: 55% of US cinema goers were men and 63% were over the age of 25, blowing the myth out of the window that only women or millennial social justice warriors would be interested in a superhero film starring a woman. It is clear that real fans of Marvel will pay to watch a superhero from their favourite comics reincarnated on the big screen, regardless of their gender. And by starring a woman it only opens the doors to a wider audience who might not have felt included in the superhero world until now.
A Diverse Cinematic Universe
Marvel's two top solo superhero debut films have been 'Black Panther' and 'Captain Marvel', two films which wave the flag of diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 'Black Panther' finally gave a platform to people of colour and celebrated African culture, not only becoming one of the best loved films in the franchise, but also the first ever to win an Academy Award. As the first ever Marvel female superhero with a standalone film, Captain Marvel gives young girls a new kind of role model and provides fans with representation they need within the superhero world. If the success of these two films proves anything, it is that audiences are hungry for diversity and that these types of inclusive films are true money-makers, despite angry internet trolls who want to sabotage this movement towards a more inclusive world.