You just knew this was coming. You did — you just knew it. At least I did. As soon as a $50 million Charlie’s Angels reboot starring the chick from Twilight and two other actresses that the casual movie-going audience has never heard of was in the works, I just knew it was going to be a flop.
And naturally, given that Charlie’s Angels not only stars three women but was directed by one, you just knew that the eventual flop would be snowballed into a discussion about sexism in the entertainment industry. Why? Because that’s just the way the world works in 2019.
So, it should come as no surprise that said director of Charlie’s Angels, Elizabeth Banks — likely reeling off the back of a lackluster opening weekend that saw the film earn just under $9 million — took the first opportunity she got to twist the film’s failings into a discussion about the male movie-going audience.
“If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies. [Audience members will] go and see a comic book movie with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel because that’s a male genre. So even though those are movies about women, they put them in the context of feeding the larger comic book world, so it’s all about, yes, you’re watching a Wonder Woman movie but we’re setting up three other characters or we’re setting up Justice League,” Banks told The Herald Sun.
Hey, Elizabeth, how about Hellboy, a movie starring a definitively male-focused comic book superhero from hell? What’s that? Oh, wow! Hellboy — which was made about $50 million — earned around $40 million at the global box office. It literally lost money!
Or how about Dark Phoenix, the final chapter in the long-running X-Men franchise? Men love the X-Men, right? They’ve been seeing those movies for 20 years! So, surely they flocked to their local theater to catch Dark Phoenix? Wrong! The film — produced for around $200 million — was another massive box office flop, as it made just $250 million worldwide. Terminator: Dark Fate? Another bomb! And these are only films that have been released within the last calendar year.
Let’s not forgot the previously aforementioned Justice League was also a massive bomb, as it made less than Ant-Man and the Wasp. We also can’t discount the massive success of the female-centric hit Hustlers. I won’t even mention 2014’s Scarlett Johansson-starring action hit Lucy, which made a whopping $464 million on a similar $40 million budget. Nope, won’t mention it.
See, Elizabeth, the fact is that in this oversaturated entertainment landscape that we currently endure, movies flop regardless of if the film was lead by men or women. Blaming the male movie-going audience because no one was interested in seeing a midbudget action movie based on a 1970s TV show with stars they don’t recognize is just lazy and bitter. Perhaps next time convince the studio to spend a little more money on acting fees and cast Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot, and Emily Ratajkowski as your Angels — you know, A-listers — and I imagine you’ll see a more profitable box office return.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him on Twitter @eric_ital or via email email@example.com