Elizabeth Banks, writer-director of the new Charlie's Angels, chalks up Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel's success to being part of the "male genre." Directing, writing, producing and starring in the Charlie's Angels reboot, the actress/filmmaker opens up about the disappointing financial performance of her latest project.
Starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, the contemporary take on the classic Charlie's Angels narrative unfortunately bombed at the box office - only pulling $8 million domestically in its first three days. In light of this, Banks said the reason behind the film's financial failure is the public isn't interested in a female-led action film. But with films like Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Captain Marvel succeeding commercially contradicting this excuse, the filmmaker explains that those movies' success is mainly because they belong to the superhero sandbox that she calls "male genre."
Speaking with Herald Sun (via CBR) about the box office performance of Charlie's Angels, Banks attempts to explain Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel's successful runs as them being comic book movies. While she says she's happy for those films, she adds that there are other female-centric projects that need to be supported.
"They'll [fans] 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."
There are a couple of things to unpack in Banks' statement including how she seemed to write off the quality of Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel considering that she associated their success with being comic book movies. Yes, superhero projects are the moneymakers in Hollywood today, but fans have seen in a few instances that it's not a guarantee for box office success. The public came to watch these films because they're overall good movies. Dismissing their triumph so flippantly is unfair to the people who worked hard on them and the viewers who genuinely enjoyed them.
Banks does have a great point with her parting message about needing to support more female voices in Hollywood. However, many pointed out that while Charlie's Angels is a good film, it had a faulty marketing campaign. Not many people knew that the project existed and there wasn't really anything striking in the trailers. Perhaps her final line has something to do with this and how Sony didn't back them up financially to properly promote the movie. If anything, both Warner Bros. and Disney used their marketing machines to sell Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel leading up to their release.