Forget Oprah. Ignore Hillary. Don't even think about Condoleezza. The most powerful woman in America today isn't even a woman. She's a 15-year old actress and singer named Miley Cyrus. Haven't heard of her? Ask your daughter or your granddaughter, if you've got one who's still in her teens.
While the teen girls in your life will probably know the name Miley, you might be more familiar with Ms. Cyrus as the unbelievably popular Hannah Montana, star of the popular Disney
How popular is she? The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert has been breaking all kinds of records on the big screen. It was supposed to be a one-week, limited-engagement run, but it's now been extended indefinitely. The film opened in just 683 theaters, but generated -- get this! -- $31.1 million, or more than $45,000 per theater. That makes it the biggest-grossing opening of any movie over the Super Bowl weekend, ever.
In comparison, the No. 2 movie that weekend, The Eye from Lions Gate Entertainment
The reason behind Hannah's limited theater distribution is that the film is shown in 3-D using technology by Real D. Since Disney launched its Chicken Little movie using Real D's technology on Dolby Labs
Apart from the Hannah Montana concert tour and the TV show, there have been music CDs (Cyrus is No. 11 on Billboard's 20 top-earning artists of 2007, with $64 million in CD and tour sales), DVDs, books, personal appearances, international releases, and an upcoming movie scheduled for later this year or early next year. There's apparel, stationery, and home decor; a line of footwear from Payless Shoes; electronics, including an LCD TV; and Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY) video games. JAKKS Pacific
You want to talk about a powerful woman with international reach? Look no further than Hannah Montana and her alter ego, Miley Cyrus. Or is it the other way around?
In a world where Britney Spears keeps getting shuttled off to a psych ward, a wholesome Disney "superhero" character like Hannah/Miley (don't ask why no one knows they're the same person; people couldn't figure out Superman/Clark Kent, either) is what parents are looking for. We can forgive Billy Ray Cyrus for "Achy Breaky Heart" long enough to laud him for siring a daughter who provides millions of tween girls with some awesome family entertainment.
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Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Disney, Dolby, and Wal-Mart, but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.