Thursday, April 29, 2010

Box Office Draws

Every once in a while I get on a Didn't-You-Know-Women-Rule-the-World-Hello! soap box. Something mundane usually kicks it off. This last time it was hearing that Sandra Bullock broke a box office record with The Blind Side. (And no, I don't want to talk about her not-worth-the-time-it-took-to-type-this husband or the new baby.) The Blind Side is the first ever "driven solely by a top female star" movie to top the $200 million mark at the domestic box office.

I had a similar reaction when the Sex and the City movie came out and the media was all abuzz with the turn-out. That flick grossed over $150 million.

What I don't get is what is so darned surprising about any of this? So I decided to set out and do a little research. Do chick flicks routinely under-perform when compared to the manly-man movies? Let's see a comparison. And I'm just pulling movies off the top of my head. I swear.

Chick Flicks Box Office Gross (lifetime):

Pretty Woman - 178 million
While You Were Sleeping - 81 million
Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightly version) - 38 million
When Harry Met Sally - 93 million
The Bodyguard - 122 million
It's Complicated - 113 million
Thelma and Louise - 45 million

Manly Man Flicks Box Office Gross (lifetime):

The Hunt for Red October - 122 million
Master and Commander - 94 million
Rambo - 43 million
The Godfather - 134 million
The Departed - 132 million
Rocky - 117 million
Patton - 62 million

For the heck of it, I added them up.

Total Chick Flicks - 670 million
Total Manly Man Flicks - 704 million

Interesting, isn't it? Now are there any guesses as to how much those movies cost to make? Hollywood. Pay attention.

One might argue that Titanic (box office gross of $600 million) was a chick flick. How many guys do you know have watched it more than once? That is ... without the promise of a reward!



Hog Hunting Texas said...

I am fully agree with you this type of films should be made.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Before I opine...What is the definition of a "chick flick"?

Kathleen Eagle said...

Because I would argue that chick flicks are often (probably most often) driven by the male star.

Helen Brenna said...

Well, at least that's 2 of us, HHT!

Kathy, to me a chick flick is any movie that appeals more to women than men, for whatever reason.

I don't think they're *most* often driven by the male star, but can be. But I see your point. The Blind Side is the first movie with a female lead that appealed to both men and women which is why it did so well in theaters.

lois greiman said...

I think women are still demanding more of the dollar and learning they can entertain themselves...ergo they don't need a male escort for movies...ergo the industry is changing. It's about time.

Helen Brenna said...

Hadn't thought of that, Lois. Very true!

Michele Hauf said...

What if I'm a chick who likes action flicks? Does that mean I prefer dude flicks? :-)

And how do you define movies like Date Night. Is that a chick flick? I kinda thought it was a couple flick. Is there such a thing?

Debra Dixon said...

Helen-- I totally agree we shouldn't be surprised when a woman can carry a movie and the movie kicks butt at the box office.

But, I think your list of guy flicks is a little lame. (g) I don't think Patton and Rambo got the push at the box office some of these others have. Or could be shown on the same number of screens.

And before we can make real comparisons, we have to adjusted for the inflation of ticket prices.

::ouch:: Don't hit me. I'm just saying. I'm a propeller head and the thought occurred to me that we didn't have an "equal footing" for the films.

Kathleen Eagle said...

From what I've read (but it's been a while) women get to choose the movie more often than men when they go as a couple. And guys don't go to movies with guys as often as women go with women.

I kinda think women have always had a lot to say about movies, and they like to see male stars. Men like to see female stars--at least my guy does. Neither of us is into big special effects, but when a movie with special effects or big scenery catches our fancy, we definitely want to see it on the big screen. But "guy flicks" aren't carried by male actors. They're carried by weapons, machines, tidal waves, speed, explosions, stuff like that.

I think of relationship stories as chick flicks, from "Gone With the Wind" to "Titanic."

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, and all the wonderful family stories and romances and any story with the lives of people at the heart--to me that's a chick flick.

Helen Brenna said...

Michele, I like action flicks, too, but I think we're not typical. A lot of women I know have no interest in a lot of the movies I like. And, yes, there is such a thing as a date movie classification.

The first movie I went to see with my dh - on a date - was Sophie's Choice. NOT a date flick.

Helen Brenna said...

Yeah, Deb, the accountant in me was having a hissy fit over the whole inflation thing, but there are some old chick flicks on there, too. Like I said, I just pulled these from off the top of my head. I was just curious what we'd see for a haphazard selection. I had no clue how it was going to come out.

Helen Brenna said...

Kathy, I generally don't choose the movie when we go out. My tastes are so wide-ranging and eclectic that I leave it to my dh to pick.