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Quendrith Johnson


Quendrith Johnson is filmfestivals.com Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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The New Box Office Trifecta: Shailene Woodley, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

 

If the rumors are true, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 reboot actually nixed Shailene Woodley's cameo, you have to wonder what they were thinking.

She's on the cover of Marie Claire (read: "This is What a Badass Looks Like"), giving workout tips in People Magazine, and breaking big at the box office. In fact, Shailene Woodley, 22, went from George Clooney sidekick in The Descendants to fronting Divergent with bullets to spare. 

 

Once upon a time, she was just a TV star in ABC's "Secret Life of the American Teenager," but now she joins the billion-dollar dynamic ticket sales duo of Hunger Games' Jennifer Lawrence, 23, and Twilight's Kristen Stewart, who turns 24 on April 9. Basically, these three are the trifecta of original franchise fronters, not remakes. 

 

Divergent rang up $55 M USD in its first week of release. While some critics give it a lukewarm comparison to Hunger Games storywise, Shailene's performance is unassailable. Basically she is about to rip open the Hollywood firmament and join the big stars. 

 

Two sequels follow Divergent from the Veronica Roth novels. Insurgent shoots in May, and Allegiant has yet to be scheduled, but is on the books for production. In June, Woodley will return to non-action hero acting with The Fault in Our Stars, playing a teenager again. Pretty good for a kid from Simi Valley, California, who began her career as a four-year-old toddler model. Especially one who grew up in the business, digs a good 'hello-hug,' and lives by her horoscope, apparently.

 

This being "Women's History Month" in the US, not much mention has been made of notion that worldwide audiences might be a little sick of men-in-tights spectaculars like Captain America: Winter Soldier, Spiderman, Batman, even Arnold is having liftoff trouble with Sabotage. And, while Russell Crowe is killing it at theaters with the faith-based apocalyptic saga Noah, it is Emma Watson (who turns 24 on April 15), who is carrying that picture. She can act, forget the Harry Potter wizard fluff. Though again, Emma Watson helped carry that franchise too.

 

At 5'8" in lycra with combat skills, Woodley is not the Girl Next Door; she is the Blockbuster Next Door. Last year, she did her debut sex scene in The Spectacular Now, and announced it was... awesome, "loving it," so to speak.

 

Not since the talented Gish sisters, first marquee movie star Mary Pickford, and "It Girl" Clara Bow, has there been a bonanza for female-driven pictures. Which makes you wonder, are all the boys glued to their Xbox/Playstation/gamer platforms and not getting out of the house at all?

 

Watch for "Shai" to break wide on the cover of Vanity Fair soon, it is only a matter of time before she rules with her 20something gal pals who are living the "Girls Rule" t-shirt slogans for real.

 

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

LA Correspondent for filmfestivals.com


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