I picked a good year to start writing a column about women in film. More than ever before, women are gaining ground in Hollywood. We've got seasoned pros like Kathryn Bigelow finally getting mainstream clout. A number of high-profile projects are being made by women. And we're also seeing a distinct rise in the do-everything femmes like Felicia Day and Diablo Cody.
But it's not all roses. First Jennifer's Body went from long-term big-buzz to big-time flop, and now Whip It is sadly following suit. If you caught Eugene Novikov's Weekend Box Office, you might have noticed that while Zombieland kicks all sorts of living butt, and the 3-D Toy Story double feature grabbed spot #3, Drew Barrymore's kick-ass roller derby pic came in a supremely disappointing 7th Place.
One could argue that Body's questionable showing was at least partly due to the mixed reactions from critics and fans. Cody's horror pic couldn't even grab a half-and-half balance, nestling in at 42% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. Some loved it, others hated it. But even with some really bad reviews, it still beat Drew. Whip It! earned almost double the critical love (82% fresh), but pulled in a whopping $2 million less than the Body in its opening weekend ($4.85 million). 2 mil might not mean as much when you're in the hundreds, but it sure as heck means a lot when you can't even bring in 5.
What went wrong, and how can we fix it before this excellent cinematic momentum is halted?