After a big marketing push lasting months, Elizabeth Banks’ glitzy Hollywood reboot of Charlie’s Angels starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska has landed with an epic thud instead of the heavenly triumph everyone was expecting.
Coming in with middling reviews and an even more depressing box-office haul that’ll almost certainly result in a loss for those who put up moolah for the film.
Needless to say that Charlie’s Angels was a disappointment and it’ll undoubtedly bring up questions over why the film was even made, but Elizabeth Banks has some strong words to detractors questioning the decision to make it, regardless of it flopping (via The Wall Street Journal):
“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.”
Not sure if Spider-Man is the best example to drop here if you’re trying to defend Charlie’s Angels.
She’s not entirely wrong here – we have had quite a few Spider-Man movies in the last couple of years and the quality has varied wildly. But no disrespect, Elizabeth, you seem to be missing the point as to why Charlie’s Angels failed and it has nothing to do with feminism or women getting action franchises.
It’s a simple case of supply and demand. Despite all the criticism, many people still want more Spider-Man whereas not many people (relatively speaking) wanted a new Charlie’s Angels with Kristen Stewart as a lead. The simple question we need to ask of any film is “does this need to exist” and it’s hard to make a good case in this instance.
Throw in factors like fewer people going to movies in favour of streaming at home, reboot-istis, and a troubled production that resulted in a poor script, the chances of this reboot of Charlie’s Angels succeeded was pretty low.
We also need to remember the major reason the older Charlie’s Angels movies worked – and those weren’t as big as what you remember them to be either given how expensive they were – is because of the combined star power of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu at the time rather than the quality of the films.
And let’s not forget the failed 2011 TV reboot of Charlie’s Angels, which came and went with barely a peep.
This isn’t to say that filmmakers shouldn’t make action movies and franchises for women. Hit films like Halloween, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel shows that films starring female badarses do indeed draw in crowds.
It’s just that for this particular case, Charlie’s Angels isn’t the winning horse Elizabeth Banks thought it was.