Loading...

Media is loading
 

Date

5-1-2020

Description

A recent public push to improve female representation in the film industry has coincided with critical praise and record box office figures for Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. Solely examining critics' reviews and box office totals as parameters for success suggests the demand for more films with similar representation. However, public opinion cannot be captured by critical interpretation and viewership alone; it is important to understand how audiences feel after viewing a film and which aspects did or did not resonate with them. Consequently, I studied a portion of the public interest discourse spread on these films to analyze novel aspects of their public reception. I coded meaningful sentiments from the first 250 IMDb user reviews for each film to evaluate audiences' perspectives on themes. In general, I found IMDb user critics were much less welcoming to these films than previous measures of success would indicate. Consistent themes of discontent on factors such as the film's representations of feminism, the actress's behavior both on and off-screen, and how the films compared to previous installments in their respective cinematic universes emerged. I interpret these findings in the context of theories about spectatorship, feminism, the superhero genre, paratexts, and convergence culture.

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 12:00 AM

Analyzing Female-Lead Superhero Films and the Internet Discourse that Followed

A recent public push to improve female representation in the film industry has coincided with critical praise and record box office figures for Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. Solely examining critics' reviews and box office totals as parameters for success suggests the demand for more films with similar representation. However, public opinion cannot be captured by critical interpretation and viewership alone; it is important to understand how audiences feel after viewing a film and which aspects did or did not resonate with them. Consequently, I studied a portion of the public interest discourse spread on these films to analyze novel aspects of their public reception. I coded meaningful sentiments from the first 250 IMDb user reviews for each film to evaluate audiences' perspectives on themes. In general, I found IMDb user critics were much less welcoming to these films than previous measures of success would indicate. Consistent themes of discontent on factors such as the film's representations of feminism, the actress's behavior both on and off-screen, and how the films compared to previous installments in their respective cinematic universes emerged. I interpret these findings in the context of theories about spectatorship, feminism, the superhero genre, paratexts, and convergence culture.