It seems some entertainment writers are stunned that women voluntarily go to see The Dark Knight and superhero movies in general. This week’s Entertainment Weekly article titled “Knight Fever” says,
A reported 48 percent of The Dark Knight‘s audience was female, and that number probably would have been even higher had so many women not flocked to Mamma Mia!
First of all, just writing Mamma Mia! in the same sentence as The Dark Knight hurts my soul a little. Secondly, I’m willing to bet that 90% or more of that 48 percent female audience share were at The Dark Knight because they wanted to be, not because their boyfriend won the coin toss.
The Entertainment Weekly article, and others, seem to think that women went to see TDK for one of two reasons:
1. “Rubberneck curiosity” over Heath Ledger’s death.
2. Christian Bale and Heath Ledger are extremely attractive male actors.
I’ll give you point number two…indeed Bale and the late Ledger are among the hottest men in Hollywood (which feels a little creepy to say about Heath since he passed away. However, his death doesn’t change the fact that I fell in love with him in 10 Things I Hate About You and so did millions of other women my age.) I’m sure, also, that there are some people who know nothing about Batman, never saw Batman Begins (the shame!), and are only there because they’re curious about Heath Ledger’s last role.
But let’s be honest. With the price of movie tickets being what they are, how many people go to see a movie they have no interest in just out of morbid curiosity? The fact is, this film was destined to be huge. A year ago yesterday we covered the first inkling that The Dark Knight was going to have one of the most interesting and intense marketing schemes ever created. Fanboys (and girls, dammit) have been waiting since the moment Batman Begins ended to see The Joker brought to life. The sequel to the best Batman movie ever made (yes, I said it and I mean it) was never going to be a quiet little movie.
People are stunned by the records The Dark Knight has been breaking, but some of us saw this coming. The intense viral marketing had fans in a tizzy long before Heath Ledger’s death, and many of us were already vowing to see the movie multiple times before we had even seen the first trailer. It’s the faith we have in Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan (as well as the writers and the rest of the cast) after seeing the amazing job they did with Batman Begins that brought us to the theaters knowing we were about to see the best movie of the year. Despite being female, going to see TDK wasn’t about Christian Bale’s looks or Heath Ledger’s death. It was about seeing my favorite superhero, played by one of my favorite actors, and presented by one of my favorite directors.