When my wife and I went to The Avengers the other week, the common misconception could have been that we were out to see a film that I had chosen.

Because let's face it, traditionally, the target audience for superhero, action films are fan boys - or, in my case, plain old ordinary blokes.

But no, she was dead keen to see the film that brings Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man all together on the big 3D screen.

More on why soon, but first: with its flashy special effects, brutally maniacal chase scenes, and Scarlett Johansson getting round in her black skin-tight jumpsuit and superhero hair, it is the biggest and best film in a long time.


Since opening earlier this month it's earned more than US$1 billion - and counting - at the Box Office, placing it at No. 12 on the list of highest grossing films of all-time.

So why so successful? Well, according to some expert analysis I've been reading from overseas, it has a lot to do with discerning, action film-loving women like my wife. Statistics show the make up of audiences for The Avengers has been 40 per cent female.

She wanted to go because it sounded like a hell of a lot of fun, and it helps that she is an action film fan, be it Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome (which we re-watched at the weekend and it ain't bad) to Iron Man and Thor.

But more tellingly, after the film she said she liked it because, to her surprise, it wasn't full of "lame" and "predictable" sexist jokes like the majority of these films usually are.

She, and the world's women, have director Joss Whedon to thank for most of that. He's the bloke behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the popular feminist drama that was heavily disguised as a teen TV series back in the late 90s.

Apparently he fought for Johansson to come on board, so as not to have an entire male cast. And instead of giving her a part involving steamy, lip-pursing looks, and curvy profile shots, he wrote her some lines, gave her a back story, and though she kicks arse and bends in all sorts of fascinating directions, her weapon of choice is her intelligence. In a key scene she outwits the evil and deluded Loki. Ha!

And the other thing about The Avengers to get the ladies singing "sisters are doin' it for themselves" is Gwyneth Paltrow who briefly but brilliantly reprises her role as Pepper Potts from Iron Man.

In the film she keeps Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark/Iron Man character in line. One imagines she might have had a bit of practice laying down the law with her real-life rock star hubby Chris Martin, also known to be a bit flighty and lippy on occasion.

Which leads me to TimeOut's cover stars, Coldplay. I admit I've always liked the band, ever since I saw goofy looking Martin stumbling along a beach singing in the video for Yellow in 2000.

Though, like the rest of the world, I did grow weary of his goody-goody image which he seeemed to trumpet any chance he got. Thankfully, he's pulled his head in a bit.

Anyway, my point is, Chris Martin is the Joss Whedon of music. Honestly, he really is. Girls love Coldplay. While former Oasis manager and record label boss Alan McGee once labelled them music for bedwetters, I reckon he was wrong.

Coldplay is girl's music. But guys, don't let that stop you from liking them too, and who knows, in return they might make a date with you when the new Hulk flick comes out.