Stallone, Arnold, Willis, Snipes, Cruise, Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Keanu Reeves, Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood....I could go on and on about male actors who have franchises tied to their names, actors who put butts in movie seats and generate actual money for the movie industry.
I can only count on one finger the number of successful female actresses (Milla Jovovich) that have helmed an action franchise and it’s mostly because she landed a dream role to one of the most popular video games of all time.
Long story short, it’s clear that audiences (both male and female) want male actors to be the poster children of their beloved franchises.
Halle Berry failed as Cat Woman, Charlize Theron now failed twice with Aeon Flux and Atomic Blonde, Jennifer Garner is about to fail again with Peppermint.
Why can’t these women ever get sequels to any of their action movies? It’s very simple, because audiences don’t want to see them in these roles.
When a film fails to make the profit like Catwoman or Aeon Flux, you can not put all the blame on the lead actor or actress. To me, the director should be more responsible for that. In that sense, it is fair to compare "John Wick" with "Atomic Blonde" since David Leitch is director of both:
John Wick (2014)
Lead actor: Keanu Reeves, Budget: $29.7 million, Box office: $88.8 million
Atomic Blonde (2017)
Lead actress: Charlize Theron, Budget: $30 million, Box office: $100 million
So, a similar budget but better box office, Atomic Blonde is clearly more successful than the first "John Wick" movie. BTW, it has also been confirmed that Atomic Blonde 2 is in development.