The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Twilight, and the Return of Women’s Blockbuster Films

When The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hits movie theaters on December 21st, it will be the second major female-led franchise movie released in just over a month. The first, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I, has already earned over $640 million dollars worldwide since its November 18th release and has become the third-highest grossing movie of 2011 (after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- and on a lower budget than those films). The remarkable success of the Twilight film series, with over $2 billion in worldwide ticket sales to date, proves that audiences will show up to see tentpole movies built around women.

Now with the upcoming release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the spring/summer 2012 openings of Mirror Mirror, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman, audiences are being offered a run of female-oriented big-budget films unlike anything they've seen in recent years. After decades of lavishing resources on male-led action and comic book movies, Hollywood is finally making an effort to give women and their stories the blockbuster treatment.

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