Key to Avatar's success: It's a chick flick?

As James Cameron's award-winning Avatar gets ready to storm the box office for the sixth weekend in a row, there's a new theory as to why it's clicking with audiences.

It's really a chick flick.

That's the take of Eric Felten, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

And then there is the gigablockbuster "Avatar," which won as the best movie drama at the Golden Globes and is likely to be lavished with Oscar nominations the week after next. What explains its astonishingly boffo box-office? Not its tired, self-satisfied politics. Nor even, by itself, the dazzling digital imagery. Rather, I suspect that driving ticket sales is the fact that the movie is a sci-fi (read male) shoot-'em-up (read male) aimed at a female audience.

Director James Cameron says that he started out to make "a classic guys' adventure movie" but the story ended up being all about women, with such themes as "how guys relate to their lovers' mothers." As the director told The New Yorker, "I try to do my testosterone movie and it's a chick flick."

Now that's something we didn't see coming, but it could explain in part why there is a small bunch of fans who are suffering depression at not being able to download their consciousnesses into giant blue tailed aliens.

Do you agree with Felten? Is Avatar really a chick flick in sci-fi drag?

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