26 November 2019 1073 Views

The very simple reasons Behind the Charlie’s Angels Flop: A new Angle on the Angels Falling From Box Office Favour

by James Murphy

The Debate is Raging. Every second Blog, YouTube Channel and Celeb Picking Things Apart. Why DID the latest Charlie’s Angels film flop? It’s really very simple..


  • Going to the Movies is Long, Expensive and Draining unless you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY HAVE TO SEE THE FILM IN CINEMAS!

People are naturally more selective than ever about what they see and when and why. This is doubly true if you have a family and babysitting requirements etc. Parking, premium prices on ‘candy’ / popcorn / coke, up to maybe, 30 minutes of commercials that eventually include some so-so trailers you have seen, already, online? It’s a LOT harder to just GET people to GO to the Pictures now, and understandably so! Le Mans 66, Knives Out and Star Wars WILL put bums in seats. But they have star AND brand power.


  • Politics Played a Part? 

I do not believe that a movie can fail simply because of toxicity in fandom or sexism among inadequate males. Indeed, one could invert the case and argue that it was the pre-emptive citing of such imaginary factors that hurt not only Charlie’s Angels but also Terminator: Dark Whatever.  Sure, social media based movie debates can turn very nasty and there are some vile things said about actors/writers/directors, be they male or female.

But I think that was ALWAYS the case, even pre internet. Hence my objection, a bit, to Sacha Baron Cohen’s recent implication that Facebook et al can be a tool of the latter day despot: yes they can, but they are also so much more in bringing DOWN and calling OUT vile villainies of all political colours. Same thing here: yes, one can cite the negative backlashes on a social /political basis. But if anything, this movie SHOULD have had every inadequate adolescent boy racing TO the Cinema instead of simply avoiding it.

Yes, like it or not, the brand / IP was built as much upon male daydreams of Farrah Fawcett, Tanya Roberts and Cameron Diaz as it ever was around misplaced notions that it was some sort of feminist fantasy. The show, the brand were APOLITICAL. FUN! An escapist bit of gloss that could appeal to everyone, for differing reasons. They simply failed to harness that magic this time around.


  • A Reboot of a reboot of what, exactly? 

Back in the early 2000s, it made sense to resurrect this brand for the big screen. The kids or young adults who had watched the tv show were now middle aged adults, passing torches of popular culture to their future snowflake making kids who in turn would pass on..absolutely nothing. I jest, a bit. But the fact is, there was a trend to adapt IPs from the 60s/70s into the 90s/2000s. Some worked, some didn’t.

Charlie’s Angles worked in so far as people got the joke, enjoyed the action and thought the girls utterly adorable (Cameron Diaz, especially).  We simply do not have that kind of dynamic with this brand anymore. Had it been reinvented again and again and endured between the last big screen adventure (2003) and now, maybe we’d have somewhere to go. But we don’t. What COULD have worked was CONNECTING this, as ‘soft’ reboot and maybe involving Ms Diaz and co? It would have THEN made, also a bold statement about kicking ageism in the balls; something yet again that the current movie misses a chance to do.

They have an older man (Patrick Stewart) play a fairly important role in proceedings. So where is the matriarch? This should feature an entire army of women aged 25-100, all stealing scenes and making us laugh /swoon and sit on the edge of our seats between camp cameos. It didn’t. So it failed. And no, Elizabeth Banks does not count (still a young one). The average viewer, equally, with no understanding or memory or even vague awareness of the logo / imagery etc of the show and the brand, would simply have skipped the film because there was no true relaunch or marketing drive to match.


In short: Under-cooked. Under-hyped, yet strangely, over-exposed.  Don’t expect a sequel anytime soon. Or even a reboot? 


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