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Like a lot of folks, I’ve been saying for years that the Hollywood has been slinging bullshit for years about women and films.
Here’s what I said in an interview last year:
Well that’s Hollywood right? They have these beliefs, and even when there’s proof that they just might be wrong, there’s an excuse. First, you know who goes to movies more, men or women? The answer is WOMEN! What about the belief that only men will see a movie multiples times, but not women? They said that over and over again, until Titanic became one of the biggest grossing films ever. And then you get the line that women can’t open movies. Oh wait, Hunger Games. Snap. Or Twilight. Snap. Comedies starring women can’t open big. Whoops, Sex and the City and Bridesmaids. Black people can’t open moves. Um, sorry Tyler Perry, we can’t hear you. We can’t hear you. It goes on and on.
But Hollywood still stuffs money into films because … DUDES. And yet we saw this year The Lone Ranger (which let’s face it was a huge WTF of a movie to begin with) get it’s ass handed to it by the Heat. And Gravity breaking records at the box office. And this past weekend the double shot of Frozen and Catching Fire.
Of course when you say this stuff you get the pushback from the dudebros who mansplain you and tell you that it just doesn’t work that way.
Well yesterday the NY Times editorial board weighed in (bold is mine)
There’s a tendency in the film world to conclude that if a female-led movie failed, it’s because it was female-led. When Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” fell short of expectations in 2009, it resurrected the cliché that boys won’t see “girl” movies. This summer an emailwent around from a Legendary Pictures representative that described “the presence of a female action hero” as a “tough sell.” The email cited “Sucker Punch,” a 2011 fantasy action movie, which starred a woman and underperformed in ticket sales. (It also received poor reviews.)
Yet before “Sucker Punch” there was “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Alien,” and the “Kill Bill” movies. And before “The Princess and the Frog” there was “Pocahontas” and “The Little Mermaid.” “Frozen” and “Catching Fire” add to the long list of films showing that there’s no market-based excuse for the dearth of female leads.
Make sure you read the whole thing.
Will this change anything? I hope but there are still issues. Just this week we just learned that Wonder Woman has to get on the big screen in Superman movie rather than her own film.
But I think you can only keep saying women don’t open at the box office or women don’t like action movies or female leads so many times when even the NY Times is calling you on your bullshit.
I’ll know I’ll be copying and pasting those paragraphs in a lot of places around the internet for a long time.