So the last time I discussed this media franchise, last fall, the fanboys of the world had united in their fear and loathing of Twilight because New Moon broke a box office record that had been held by The Dark Knight, and also because the screaming Robert Pattinson fans had "ruined" Comic Con earlier that summer. Still, the strength of New Moon's box office performance had some people speculating that maybe the studios would finally realize that women actually spend money on movies (note the second paragraph).
Yeah, so much for that.
Authors [of a new scholarly book on Twilight] argue shifting of marketing strategies with Eclipse indicates Hollywood devalues female fans :
Despite the record-breaking success of the first two Twilight films, Summit Entertainment shifts marketing strategies with its third film to attract a male audience, MU researchers said. With the latest Twilight film, the researchers observe that the marketing of Eclipse highlights a subplot of Stephenie Meyer’s book that is dark and violent, a ploy to draw male moviegoers. The official full-length trailer for Eclipse promotes the film largely as an action movie instead of focusing on the love triangle that is established in the third book of the Twilight series.
"Although the establishment of a love triangle in Eclipse is central to the story and marks a very important turning point in the series, the movie trailer highlights the action, rather than the romantic, elements of the story," Aubrey said. "Why is Summit doing this? From a cultural point of view, the media industry doesn’t confer cultural legitimacy on texts until they are embraced by men, not just women."
Because it's not enough that women will see this movie in droves and will spend millions and millions of their dollars on the film and the books and the tie-in merchandise. That's girl money, so it doesn't count. No, Hollywood can't possibly consider a franchise successful unless they can get the men to approve of it. Is this because, as a culture, we tend to value men and traditionally male interests more than women and traditionally female interests? Or is because men are the holy grail target demographic for advertisers? (Then again, we might ask why men are the holy grail demographic in the first place.)
I watched the trailer, and the above analysis is no exaggeration. Except for one brief moment where Jacob and Edward are staring each other down, you would never guess that there was a love triangle, or even a romance. Bella gets maybe 15 seconds of screen time; the focus is on the vampires and a little bit on Jacob. Full disclosure: I haven't actually read the book (I stopped after the first in the series), but from what I recall from reading synopses and talking to friends, the epic romance is the primary focus of the story, and the vampire army business is thrown in to raise the stakes at the end. (If I am wrong about this, I am happy to be corrected; let me know.) The film trailer would have it appear to be the other way around. So, here's the big question: is this just about the marketing, or did they actually change the movie to make it potentially more appealing to male audiences? Because that's where I would move from irritated to outright angry.
Hat tip to Comic Worth Reading; especially check out the comments, because the post's author pwns some mansplainers in a way that is really worth seeing.
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