Halloween may be perceived as a holiday mainly for children, but more adults are joining the fun each year. Halloween spending is big business, as evidenced by the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) report stating that 170 million Americans will purchase a product associated with the holiday this year, spending an estimated eight billion dollars. Adults often select classic costumes, such as witches or vampires, or they choose whatever is popular for the year. For instance, political costumes are in great demand during an election year. Hollywood blockbusters offer inspiration for Halloween costumes year after year, providing costumes relating to characters such as Neo and Trinity from “The Matrix” and Captain Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Every year has a great mix of characters from many different film genres.
Comic book movies took a lion’s share of the profits at the box office this summer, so it makes sense that their characters are the most popular choices for men and women alike. “The Avengers” was a character showcase, and it is dominating the Halloween costume market. Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Captain America are big hits with men, while many women are opting for Black Widow. “The Dark Knight Rises” makes the tragic hero Batman another favorite this year, and some men are going rogue as Bane. The big winner for women is definitely the captivating and cunning Catwoman.
Popular film adaptations of books also create demand for attire to transform wearers into their favorite characters. This year is the time of the heroine, with Katniss Everdeen of “The Hunger Games” near the top of the list for many young women. Other women are having fun dressing up as the outrageous Effie Trinket, complete with exaggerated makeup and frilly Capitol attire. In recent years, the characters from the “Twilight” series added to the vampire genre. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are often couples’ costumes. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is the latest installment from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” universe, and although it doesn’t release until December 14, many people are dressing up as the wizard Gandalf.
Guys are giving “Magic Mike” their approval, complete with dance routines. Gentlemen seeking a touch of class are opting for 007 himself from the movie “James Bond: Skyfall.” It’s an easy to construct costume, requiring only a suit and some high-tech accessories.
Fairy tale adaptations pop up every so often, and this year’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” spawned two popular costume choices for women. Snow White was yet another character portrayed by Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”). Women looking for a more menacing presence might opt for the stunning, but scary, Queen Ravenna. No one does fantasy like Disney, and this year’s “Brave” made another archer character popular among women-Merida.
Video games often inspire a movie or two, and this year’s big winner is “Resident Evil: Retribution.” The no-nonsense character, Alice, offers women the opportunity to take on the persona of a woman fighter on the side of good. Role-playing games spawned the popular vampire versus werewolf flick, “Underworld: Awakening.” Its vampire heroine, Selena, is on the top of the list for women.
Many of these favored selections are also popular in the pint-sized variety. Young children tend to gravitate toward comic book heroes and favorite cartoon characters. Batman and Spiderman are the most popular kids’ costumes, and the crew from “Harry Potter” is still big this year. Kids also enjoy dressing up as agents from “Men in Black 2.” This costume is simple to assemble, as it only requires a black suit, white shirt, and sunglasses.
Costume shops are sure to stock outfits, accessories, and props of varying quality for the major movie characters. If one has the time, the Internet provides instructions and tutorials to teach crafty individuals how to construct costumes and props for their favorite movie characters. In fact, cosplay is a hobby devoted to those who dress up in costumes and role-play in character. Enterprising folks also sell customized merchandise on eBay, some of which is authentic museum quality. No matter which route a person selects, he or she is sure to have fun slipping into the life of an iconic movie character, even if only for one exhilarating Halloween night.