Published May 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES – Flicks filled with fighter jets, explosives and guns are no longer considered entertainment just for guys.
According to data obtained exclusively by FOX411’s Pop Tarts column, more women than men watched George Lucas’s action-packed tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen “Red Tails” in cinemas earlier this year.
In fact, a whopping 57 percent of the theater audience was female.
This weekend comes the highly-anticipated science fiction action naval war film “Battleship,” inspired by the board game of the same name. According to leading lady Brooklyn Decker, the newfound appeal comes from the idea that the women portrayed in these films are strong and independent, and can take care of themselves.
“We finally have strong women in the movies. For a while we just had women who were being rescued by the leading males so to have these women who are strong and can fend for themselves, as a woman I enjoy watching them,” she told us. “I never liked watching movies where the girl is the damsel in distress.”
And although this year’s box office sensation “Act of Valor” featured few women, focusing on the trials and tribulations of a dedicated team of Navy SEALs, the directors went out of their way to ensure women would relate too and be entertained by the explosive yet emotional war movie.
“We strived to make this movie appeal to women. It is the Navy SEALs so guys are going to love it – but we set out to capture the women’s sacrifice too, they are just as heroic as the men, co-director Scott Waugh said. "They have their own acts of valor that might never be recognized."
Another prominent reason for the gender shift also has a lot to do with the idea that women are playing more prominent roles behind the lens.
“More women have taken an interest to war movies now since female directors like Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) and Angelina Jolie (“In the Land of Blood and Honey”) have successfully been able to tell emotionally powerful stories with high drama and great action,” said Heather Newgen, reporter for the movie-centric site ComingSoon.net. “It's not just a man's genre anymore and these amazing women are proving they can provide an audience with an entertaining war tale just as well as any male director, if not better.”
And according to Clare Macnaughton, blogger for A Modern Military Mother, women in today’s society are not shielded from historically male genre movies. Plus, if it's a great film, then it's a great film.
“On a deeper level ,with a husband who goes to war sometimes, you need to look at things you don’t want to see to understand the things you can’t see,” she added. “However, today's women are confident, bold, brave and courageous and this is clearly reflected in their viewing habits.”