Women at the Box Office

Once upon a time, I had a ridiculously wondrous job teaching reading enrichment to adorable children in Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii. As if that weren’t enough, I met some incredible, intelligent and engaging women while I was there. One of said women sent me this article today and, as random internet insights often do, it inspired me to write a little something for you, readers of RLB.

The title of the article, “At the Movies, The Women are Gone”, is bleak enough on its own. Going on to read the statistics that support this title paints an even darker picture. Movies are almost always (yes, Almost Always) about men, by men, and for men.
movie loner                                             source: cinema-punch.com

Which, you know, fine. I get it. It is depressing, and frustrating, and oftentimes the temptation is to throw up one’s hands and say “I don’t know! I don’t know what to effing do about it.” (this is essentially how the author closes her piece, though I confess I am paraphrasing slightly)

However. This is the 21st Century. The Age of Information. The medium in which you are choosing to throw up your virtual hands, The Internet, is a wealth of knowledge, know-how, and yes, solutions.

For years now, Melissa Silverstein has been working tirelessly on one of the best resources available for fighting the More Movies About Women fight, Women and Hollywood. Sign up for updates from her site, and you will be In the Know about new films by, for and about women. She even tells you – and this part is Crucial – when these new films are being released and guess what?? This is how we fix it. This is precisely what we can do about the Hollywood sausage fest. Because guess what Hollywood cares about. Money. Der.

The bottom line, turning a profit, stuffing the piggy bank – all of this is literally measured by One Thing in Hollywood: Opening Weekend.

As things stand right now, a strong opening weekend for a by/for/about women film is waved off as a startling anomaly in tinsel town. The best and simplest way to fix that is to support by/for/about women films During Opening Weekend as much as humanly possible. The more studio fat cats see by/for/about women films making a killing on opening weekend, the harder it will be for them to dismiss the earnings with a sputter of “huhthatssurprisinghowunusual” before they move on to making Fast and Furious 12.

Let’s start with this weekend. Who wants to see Man of Steel? Lord knows I do, have you seen Henry Cavill??
henry_cavill_in_man_of_steel-wideHenry Cavill in Man of Steel – source: http://www.hdwallpapers.in/

The beauty of this man is absurd. And after six seasons on the not-so-great-after-Anne-Boylen-dies series The Tudors, I promise he knows his way around a script, too. I am living statistical proof that women love superhero movies, and I extra love them when they’re smart, clever, and character-driven.

But let’s pause a second, and consider this: Is Man of Steel going to do well at the box office this weekend? Yes. Obviously. Is it also going to be in theaters for many, many, many weeks to come? Without a doubt. So, here’s my suggestion. Put the new Superman on hold this weekend. Instead, see one of the films that Women and Hollywood has helpfully suggested. Bring as many people as you can, and encourage others to do the same.

I hear some of you saying “I live in a small town, none of these movies are showing near me.” To which I say – how much does this issue matter to you? and Are you in a comfortable place financially? If you answered ‘a lot’ and ‘yes’, go to fandango.com and buy yourself a ticket to a by/for/about women film in another city. True, you won’t get to see it, but you will get the joy of knowing that you are part of the Solution. Better yet, buy and send an e-ticket to a friend, so s/he can see the movie in your stead. I know movie tickets are pricey these days, so just skip a couple of lattes next week. We could all stand to be less caffeinated, and when it comes the box office, women need all the help they can get.

Here’s my pick. What’s yours?
The Bling Ring MovieThe Bling Ring – source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/

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