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The 'Charlie's Angels' Director Blames it Tanking on Men Not Wanting to Watch a Movie Starring Women

Source - The well-reviewed “Charlie’s Angels” reboot is the latest studio box office bomb of the fall movie season. ... The Elizabeth Banks-directed action comedy failed to crack $9 million at the box office over its opening weekend. Box office tracking had “Charlie’s Angels” opening at an already-disappointing $10 million, but the final total came in well below that low mark. IndieWire’s box office expert Tom Brueggemann says the film “will be a significant loss” for Sony this season.

Prior to the movie’s disastrous opening weekend, Banks gave an interview to the Herald Sun that is now proving to be somewhat controversial. The filmmaker, who also wrote and produced “Charlie’s Angels” and stars in the movie as Bosley, called out a potential box office bomb as being sexist. “Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money,” she said. “If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.” ...

“They’ll go and see a comic book movie with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel because that’s a male genre,” Banks told the Sun. ...

“You’ve had 37 Spider-Man movies and you’re not complaining!” Banks said. “I think women are allowed to have one or two action franchises every 17 years — I feel totally fine with that.” ...

When IndieWire recently asked Banks if she was concerned about if she was concerned about the reaction of trolls who might balk at her feminist-leaning action movie, she was succinct. “‘Charlie’s Angels’ has always been about women, and the DNA of it is about women working together on this team,” she said. “We are not treading in a male space. I think that’s one of the big differences between these two things. I don’t know, I’m less concerned about that. Of course, those trolls are horrifying, but you know, I challenge them to get up and make a fucking movie action movie. I welcome any of them into my realm.” 

I don't have any beef with Elizabeth Banks whatsoever. She was great in "40 Year Old Virgin" and a long story arc in "30 Rock" and I'm sure is a very nice person. It's not easy expressing yourself creatively for a living only to have it not work out the way you'd hoped. Whether that's writing a blog that doesn't resonate, do a stand up set where the audience isn't that into you, or to spend years getting a passion project movie of yours released only to see the public stay away in droves. When you put yourself out there, failure is hard to take, no matter how much you realize it's the nature of trying to entertain others. 

But having said that, it's not the public's fault. Any more than it's the audience's fault if the don't like a joke I've added. If it fails to land, I can either try it again next show, rewrite it, or drop it altogether. But they don't owe it to the comic to like his material. They're free to laugh at what they find funny and stare blankly at what they don't. 

By the same token it's not sexism or toxic masculinity that are keeing everyone away from the theaters with "Charlie's Angels" on the screen. We've all seen the trailer.

And my reaction was apparently shared by the vast majority of the American movie going public. "Meh." Like I've seen this a dozen times before and it wasn't all that entertained then either. That it lies somewhere on the interest spectrum between "Totally missable" and "I'll catch it on Netflix in about six months." I'm sure it's a terrible feeling to put all your time and effort into making a film and I don't claim for a second that I can "get up and make a fucking movie action movie." But just because Elizabeth Banks did doesn't mean the rest of us are obligated to go see it because if it doesn't make money we're reinforcing some Hollywood stereotype. 

I don't know when exactly the world changed, but doesn't seem all that long ago that if you created something and it didn't make money, you said "that's on me" and you tried to learn from your mistakes. Now you blame "trolls" and people who don't share your vision for what's entertaining. I guess Van Gogh could've used this when he was a starving artist with an apartment full of paintings he couldn't sell. Instead of killing himself, he could've blamed de trollen and demanded the galleries all fork over money so he could pay his rent. 

But now Hollywood just automatically blames their audience for deciding to like what they like. Whether that's Rian Johnson talking about "fanboy tears" over the diehard "Star Wars" fans who hated "The Last Jedi," or Elizabeth Banks mad at you for not seeing her female-lead action movie and saying that makes you a misogynist. Which in her case is an especially odd choice since she herself was in the "Hunger Games" franchise, which basically printed money. And the fact that, when a movie that's been promoted as much as "Charlie's Angels" doesn't even make $9 million in it's opening week, it's not men that are staying away. It's everyone of both genders. I don't a single guy who ever set foot in a theater to see "Mamma Mia" or "50 Shades of Grey," and those movies did just fine without demanding males come help them out.

Besides, I didn't see "Wonder Woman" and "Captain Marvel" because they were part of some larger franchises that therefore secretly tools of the patriarchy. I saw them because they looked good. And were better than good. "Wonder Woman" is in my top five superhero films - which is saying something given what polished turds the other DCU movies have been  - and I can't wait for the sequel. I went to see them because I wanted to, not to serve some greater cause of gender politics. Like I've been doing my whole life, from the first two "Alien" films, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Kill Bill Vol I & II," Eowyn from "Lord of the Rings" and Princess fricking Leia. So just take the L, quit blaming us for not seeing your garbage, and make better movies. Then we'll all be better off.