Home Entertainment Elizabeth Banks: Charlie’s Angels flop reinforces stereotype that “men don’t go see women do action movies”

Elizabeth Banks: Charlie’s Angels flop reinforces stereotype that “men don’t go see women do action movies”

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Charlie’s Angels is officially bombing at the box office. The sequel fell well short of expectations as it opened to a dismal $8.6 million in the US this weekend past, with international audiences not caring for it either. The film is currently sitting on a worldwide total of $29.5 million, still well short of making back its production budget of an estimated $55 million and that’s before promo/ad costs are taken into consideration. So what went wrong?

After the pair of hugely successful Charlie’s Angels movies in the early 2000s, an attempt to reboot the franchise for TV had already been attempted and failed miserably. So the simplest answer would just be to say that nobody asked for this new movie. Hollywood never has simple answers though.

Prior to the Charlie’s Angels’ release, the film had already been tracking for a lacklustre debut due to very little to no online buzz. Australia’s Herald Sun spoke to Elizabeth Banks – who produced, directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the film as the new Bosley – about its seemingly impending failure. And according to the multihyphenate, a box office bomb for Charlie’s Angels could be viewed as sexist.

Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money. If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.

I think Elizabeth Banks is an awesome actress and filmmaker, but this is just… well, it’s wrong. Firstly, as to why Charlie’s Angels failed, despite the appeal of having a modern feminist spin on the “jiggle TV” Charlie’s Angels formula – which actually makes a lot of sense – the hype just wasn’t there. The script went through a bunch of rewrites as they tried to crack the formula as well. All that uncertainty meant that the production couldn’t attract the star power it wanted. Reportedly, the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Margot Robbie were originally looked at. Instead, we got the trio of Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott.

Stewart is by far the most recognizable due to her time in the Twilight franchise, but she’s done nothing but arthouse indie films since then. Balinska is a complete unknown outside of her native Britain where she’s a TV actress. And Naomi Scott is a relative newcomer that audiences just met with Aladdin and the failed Power Rangers reboot. All three actors do great work in Charlie’s Angels – Stewart, in particular, is fantastic – but these are not the type of marquee names that fill cinemas.

Secondly, Hollywood most certainly has a very obvious and terrible gender bias that needs to be tackled passionately, but that doesn’t mean that female-led action movies are all failures. The Resident Evil films, Atomic Blonde, Lucy, the Underworld franchise, Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movies, The Hunger Games franchise, the new Star Wars movies, etc. All female-led, all hugely successful. More recently, we had Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman shatter the glass ceiling as they earned $1.128 billion and $821.8 million worldwide respectively.

According to Banks though, while she’s “happy for those characters to have box office success”, those movies don’t really count as they are actually made for men.

They’ll 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.’

By the way, I’m happy for those characters to have box office success but we need more women’s voices supported with money because that’s the power. The power is in the money.

Know what else Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel are though? They’re bona fide blockbusters. They boast the type of widescreen filmmaking that make audiences punch the air in excitement. Whether through a lack of budget or creativity, Charlie’s Angels doesn’t have that. As I mentioned in my review, the film’s setpieces are competently made, but there’s no wow factor. Unlike the two 2000s films with their slick visuals and big action beats, there’s nothing here that audiences will remember once they step out of the cinema, much less tell their friends about.

Of course, the previously mentioned blockbusters had massive budgets and huge studio support behind them. And as Banks continued in a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, she lamented how Hollywood keeps throwing money at these big franchises, relegating most female-led productions to be much smaller affairs.

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

Being in a big franchise allows you to have it all. I recognize the same thing, it’s almost unfair for women. The best roles are usually in small movies, but then you don’t make any money. It’s okay to want to make money.

To be fair to Banks, despite some of the comments she made above, she’s apparently still retained the humour she became famous for in regards to Charlie’s Angels’ commercial woes. The actress tweeted out yesterday that she’s actually quadrupled down on the flop, but she’s still proud of it.

Have you seen Charlie’s Angels yet? If so, did you think the movie flopped because of a bigger agenda or simply because it wasn’t good enough?

Last Updated: November 19, 2019

57 Comments

    • Admiral Chief

      November 19, 2019 at 10:13

      ^this guy knows what’s up

      Reply

  1. Hammersteyn

    November 19, 2019 at 10:13

    I don’t go to the movies much but I recall liking Atomic Blonde, Wonder Woman, Resident Evil(I love the game mkay), Ghost in the Shell and the best one of all, Kill Bill.

    I didn’t like Captain Marvel much, guess I’m part of that stereotype now.

    Reply

  2. Dresden

    November 19, 2019 at 10:18

    • Hammersteyn

      November 19, 2019 at 10:23

      LOL!

      Reply

    • CrAiGiSh

      November 19, 2019 at 11:36

      DEAD XD

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 19, 2019 at 10:23

      Bwahahaha ok I shouldn’t laugh

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        November 19, 2019 at 10:28

        too soon?

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          November 19, 2019 at 10:33

          No not at all, good joke, based on horrific history however.

          Reply

  3. Yozzie

    November 19, 2019 at 11:23

    “reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.”

    Ok so the first popular Charlies Angels movies were 3 men who went action on the bad guys?… No. It’s just a kak movie that promoted to a specific category of people. Those people also did not enjoy the movie so now lets play the scapegoat dart game where 99% of the board says “It’s men’s fault”.

    Reply

  4. CrAiGiSh

    November 19, 2019 at 11:29

    Literally asked the SO, do you wanna go see this movie?

    Her reply – “FACK NO !!!”

    Reply

  5. For the Emperor!

    November 19, 2019 at 11:29

    Wait. Did she just say her movie wasn’t made for men, yet complain men didn’t go see it? Well, now I won’t go see it this weekend. Bring on Frozen 2 asap!

    Reply

  6. Kapitan Balalaika

    November 19, 2019 at 11:46

    #MenAreTrash

    Reply

  7. WhiteRock

    November 19, 2019 at 12:06

    So…based on her comments this flopped because men didn’t go and watch it? So did women go and watch it? Or do women not count, or do women not have enough buying power?

    Reply

    • HvR

      November 19, 2019 at 12:06

      Clearly all the asshole men kept the women chained up in the kitchen and took away their makeup and high heels so that they could not go to the movies …. duh.

      Reply

  8. disqus_JMqUARAbUe

    November 19, 2019 at 12:43

    Tomb Raider made 250 million, Wonder Woman 800+ million. Sorry your movie just sucks, but sure blame ToXiC mAsCuLiNiTy.

    Reply

  9. disqus_JMqUARAbUe

    November 19, 2019 at 12:43

    Tomb Raider made 250 million, Wonder Woman 800+ million. Sorry your movie just sucks, but sure blame ToXiC mAsCuLiNiTy.

    Reply

  10. John Paul

    November 19, 2019 at 14:59

    The original reboot had a return of of 6x its production cost. Shut the door on youre stupid sexist conspiracy theory. Luke warm intellectual blather is all this editorial is.

    Reply

  11. John Paul

    November 19, 2019 at 14:59

    Compare trailers, original reboot to the garbage fire…one looks action packed the other looks like a shitty version of Alias

    Reply

  12. Guild

    November 19, 2019 at 10:13

    Haven’t seen the movie and not interested. Trailers didn’t look great and it looks boring. Blaming men is a cope out. If she is bitching about Spider-Man, fuck it make a Spider-Gwen or Spider-Woman movie. Pretty sure that would sell. Or you know make something original and new and not rehashed Charlies Angels?

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      November 19, 2019 at 10:18

      Apparently they wanted Jennifer Lawrence, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone for the movie. Now that’s a movie I would’ve seen.

      Reply

      • Guild

        November 19, 2019 at 10:33

        Might have been better but doubt it. If the movie looks boring and the script is crap, no actor or actress is going to save it.

        Reply

        • Dresden

          November 19, 2019 at 12:38

          That’s the thing. With a better script and action scenes, then there’s no reason why this movie would have flopped.

          Reply

    • For the Emperor!

      November 19, 2019 at 11:36

      Or at least have some star power? Sheesh only person I know there is the Twilight chick, and she was only ever good in American Ultra

      Reply

  13. Marek Nourse

    November 19, 2019 at 10:13

    We watched WonderWoman. So her arguement is invalid

    Reply

    • Kenn Gibson

      November 19, 2019 at 13:03

      I loved Wonder Woman, it’s one of my favourite movies of the last few years.

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 19, 2019 at 10:13

      +1
      No, I’m changing my +1 to a +100

      Reply

  14. Geoffrey Tim

    November 19, 2019 at 10:23

    Retread of a series I don;t care about in the first place. That’s why I’m not interested. I love movies with women being kick-ass action heroes.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 19, 2019 at 12:28

      Zigactly

      Reply

  15. John Paul

    November 19, 2019 at 14:19

    Uh…the first Charlies Angels reboot did decent at the box office. Close up cut aways and ho hum comedy are to blame. Women dont even like made for tv action movies staring men or women. This artical is the embodiment of someone sticking a straw in their ear and sucking out the brain matter. IQ -15

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      November 19, 2019 at 16:52

      Read the article, not the headline. Writer clearly says Banks is quite wrong.

      Reply

  16. Tbone187

    November 19, 2019 at 14:54

    I agree with her but truth is, there are few female action leads who are any good. Most are cringe at best.

    Nobody really breaking Mila’s bar which also wore thin after the 2nd in the series of Resident Evil. Underworld was ok but Kate is also rather cringe.The latest from Gal and Brie were hyped to the moon for the feminazi’s to pursuit with no real substance tho.Scarlet Johansson is bloody annoying tbh.

    In short, female leads are ok at best.I reckon Angelina and Mila are about the best I’ve seen and maybe Sigourney.This new generation simply try too hard and it shows.Looking at you Batwoman!

    Reply

  17. Quentin Huggett

    November 19, 2019 at 17:30

    Yip like i said on the other article, it apparently failed because #menaretrash

    Reply

  18. Son of Banana Jim

    November 19, 2019 at 18:15

    Oh slay queen! I don’t know about you guys but it certainly can’t be that the movie just isn’t good enough, it has to be those dastardly men, who can’t handle strong, intelligent and independent action women. It’s almost like these idiots forget that we’ve had awesome female characters over the years, I mean even the last bunch of Charlie’s Angels movies with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu were actually pretty cool.

    But no, it has to be Muh Soggy Knees, y’all! Those evil men just want to see women fail.

    Reply

  19. Lourens

    November 20, 2019 at 11:41

    Disagreed, I don’t think that plays into it at all, not for me at least. I rarely go to the cinema and it’s usually based on reviews and / or hype.

    Reply

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