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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    I think all of those reasons are a factor. The movie "Salt" was successful as far as I know. I forget who it was written for but he turned it down. Angelina Jolie saw it and decided to do it. The studio and writer offered to "rewrite it for a woman" and she said she would rewrite it herself because she knew what "rewrite it for a woman" meant. It meant, "Insert crying scenes where the cold professional spy who assassinates people for a living cries to prove she's "really a woman deep down". Her rewrite mostly was just changing he to she.
    Tom Cruse was going to do it at first.

  2. #17
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    In addition to the other successful female led action films others have mentioned, I'd like to add The Hunger Games movies and the Kill Bill films. Plus, even though Birds of Prey underperformed initially at the box-office, it wasn't the massive disaster that some folks want to pretend it was.

    Plus there's a sub-genre of female led American revenge/exploitation films and Asian martial arts movies. I don't think it's accurate to say that people won't accept women as the leads in action movies.

    I think the problem is that there's been a handful of high profile female action/superhero movies that were major flops. So the perception among some folks is that the audience won't accept these films. It's a similar story when it comes to having more than a couple of black people in a certain type of film..."Oh, it's a 'black movie' now and people in Peoria won't like it."

  3. #18
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    I don't know - I really liked Birds of Prey and the Fabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn (despite the ridiculously long full title). I liked the Charlie's Angels movies, the Tomb Raider movies, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, so on. I just don't get the problem. If the movie is good I don't care what gender the star is. I mean if it's a good looking woman obviously I'm going to fantasize about her sexually on top of everything else (I'm a normal heterosexual man, it's always going to be on my mind, nothing wrong with that). But it doesn't get in the way of me taking the character seriously or enjoying her kicking butt.

  4. #19
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    I don't think female led movies are an automatic fail. There have been a lot of successful female led movies. I'd add Underworld to the list and Pam Grier was big in the 70s,Cynthia Rothrock in the 90s.

    I think the problem with some recent ones is they try to just have a man in a woman's body. Or over do it with the over the top toughness. I mean I've seen movies where 90 pound chicks were doing stuff Arnold and Stallone weren't even doing at their height.

    Not a movie but I tried to watch L.A.s finest with Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. And Union was acting so hard and tough I had to just turn it off it was so stupid.
    Last edited by CliffHanger2; 08-01-2020 at 01:04 PM.

  5. #20
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    I think you can't really give a general reason that is really dependent on the movie.

    Some of the more recent flops (like for example Charlie's Angels) were for example more or less marketed as movies by woman for woman, so it is not really surprising that less men show up.

    In case of Terminator Dark Fate, I don't think that people were really interested in another reboot of this franchise, and without Schwarzenegger as lead what is even the point of rebooting this franchise?
    That's imo as pointless as making Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp (which is afaik also planed will probably also not do that well).
    In some cases a franchise is just to strongly tied to specific actors.
    Last edited by Aahz; 08-01-2020 at 02:02 PM.

  6. #21
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    I’ll say this: I think there are biases that can work against female action movies, but in the current entertainment world, that bias is more dangerous when in the hands of creators who believe those biases (or alternatively, believe the audience has those biases, and want to “play it safe.”)

    There’s a plethora of successful female action movies, some exceedingly so, so I don’t think that a female led action movie is in anyway more likely to fail in terms of overall audience share... but they are both somewhat more likely to have studio and producer biases impede their deployment *and* to have the female-led aspect blamed for their failure. So, on some level, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I also won’t deny that there have been some movies that have tried to use the feminist appeal in marketing, and have failed, the new Charlie’s Angels, for one... but that strategy also saw success with Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman.

    I would add that there are more toxic elements of some fandoms that will do their level-best to try and damage a property because it’s female led, which can be seen as a liability... but there still tends to be a tie more to the film’s overall quality for its reception than what some morons say on the web. And often, they expose a double standard that they tne try to obfuscate over.

    For instance, Rey is a female action hero in the Sequel Trilogy, and overall, The Force Awakens’s high quality drowned out the morons and man babies who complained about her, while The Last Jedi had a major dip in quality regarding her writing that The Rise of Skywalker had to match, and *that* caused the main loss in the ST’s box office and reception, since regardless of other elements like how Luke and others were handled, she was supposed to be the main character, so a weak story for her put a ceiling into he entire production.

    Now, Rey is often accused of being a Mary Sue - that she’s overpowered, poorly written, and a bit of a fan fiction character. Some of those complaints can be true... but here’s the thing: all those complaints apply just as much, if not more, to Kylo Ren. He’s less developed but more heavily coddled, equally overpowered (stopping blaster bolts in mid air and performing necromancy), and is a “Blackhole Sue” slowly drawing the films’ towards himself for no good reason... but there’s less complaint about him, because he’s a dude, and because his “fan fiction” element is being a “Spinoff Baby.”

    He also likely saw his profile grow in part due to Rian Johnson and LFL just having some biases (often accidental ones) that saw him get promoted above both Finn (the black male lead who’s a clearly superior character in every way) and arguably over Rey as well (since she’s declared to be dependent on him for her importance both in Johnson’s own words and by the Dyad concept.)

    The biases are real... but I think they’re more an issue of creator impact than audience impact in terms of a film’s success.
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  7. #22
    MXAAGVNIEETRO IS RIGHT MyriVerse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    For instance, Rey is a female action hero in the Sequel Trilogy, and overall, The Force Awakens’s high quality drowned out the morons and man babies who complained about her, while The Last Jedi had a major dip in quality regarding her writing that The Rise of Skywalker had to match, and *that* caused the main loss in the ST’s box office and reception, since regardless of other elements like how Luke and others were handled, she was supposed to be the main character, so a weak story for her put a ceiling into he entire production.

    Now, Rey is often accused of being a Mary Sue - that she’s overpowered, poorly written, and a bit of a fan fiction character. Some of those complaints can be true... but here’s the thing: all those complaints apply just as much, if not more, to Kylo Ren. He’s less developed but more heavily coddled, equally overpowered (stopping blaster bolts in mid air and performing necromancy), and is a “Blackhole Sue” slowly drawing the films’ towards himself for no good reason... but there’s less complaint about him, because he’s a dude, and because his “fan fiction” element is being a “Spinoff Baby.”
    Agreed, very much. Kylo is my biggest problem with the last trilogy, and after him, it's every bloody male part (no pun intended). *glares at both Han and Luke*
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  8. #23
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    I'm not convinced that the problem is in the audience half of the market. I believe it's in the studio/advertising side. You can tell that there isn't a lot of faith in female led action pieces just by looking at how they're marketed. The focus is so rarely on the action, which would normally be the centerpiece of the attraction. Or they spend so much time advertising the movie as "In This Film We Explore How Every Dude Sucks", such as the latest Birds of Prey film. Why would guys want to go see a movie about women are awesome and guys are crap? That makes no sense. That's like women wanting to see movies where guys are lauded and women degraded. And while they've had to sit through plenty of those, I doubt many enjoyed the experience. And, here's the problem: Birds of Prey wasn't actually that movie at all. It was silly, and poorly written in places but it was fun and it actually did "Girl Power" pretty well without shitting on guys at every turn. But it was marketed so poorly that it blew up in their faces.

    An example of what Hollywood should do more of: Peppermint. Jennifer Garner doing her Frank Castle impersonation. The movie is a straight lift of Castle's story, save that the protagonist is a soccer mom rather than an old soldier, but the end result is the same. And the film pulls no punches. Garner gets to shoot, punch and stab her way through goons in classic action movie style. The movie doesn't even lampshade the gender disparity, as Garner's character is forced to out think several opponents who are simply too much bigger or better armed than she is. And at the climax of the movie, when you just know they creatives are going to wimp out and have her break down like every other female character who gets stuck in their feelings, they instead let her go badass and go out the anti-hero the movie has been building her as the entire time. Now, was the film a huge blockbuster? No. But it made money, sold relatively well on physical media/streaming and was generally well received at the time.

    And it's not the only example. Atomic Blonde was at least moderately successful, and that in the spy genre that has struggled in recent years.

    The moral? If you want female led action movies to have success, just go and actually make some decent female led action movies, sell them as action movies to action movie fans, and reap the benefits.

  9. #24
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    I’d add Salt (Angelina Jolie) to the list of female helmed action movies which I thought was not just good, but damn good. And while ScarJo caught hell from otaku about the “whitewashing” issue, I thoroughly enjoyed Ghost in the Shell.
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  10. #25
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    There are far more male-led action films than female led, so the 'bombs' from the female led ones are more obvious.

    Also, executives can suck. Take, for example, the Wonder Woman DVD movie. It didn't make money right out of the gate, though in the long run it made money. DC's response was 'no more female led animated DVD movies.'

    By comparison, Green Lantern flopped at the box office, but DC didn't declare 'no more male led superhero movies.'

    Looking at a list of the top 100 biggest 'flops', the following are the male-led action flops (I left out comedy/thriller/horror/epic/war movies). I also didn't include ones with dual/multiple leads such as Justice League and Ecks vs Sever.

    The 13th Warrior
    47 Ronin
    The Alamo
    Alexander
    Battlefield Earth
    Ben-Hur (remake)
    Blade Runner 2049
    Chill Factor
    The Chronicles of Riddick
    Deepwater Horizon
    Driven
    Ender's Game
    The Finest Hours
    Gemini Man
    Geostorm
    Gods of Egypt
    The Great Wall
    Green Lantern
    Hudson Hawk
    The Huntsman: Winter's War
    Jack the Giant Slayer
    John Carter
    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
    Krull
    The Lone Ranger
    The Man from UNCLE
    The Mummy (2017)
    The Postman
    RIPD
    Robin Hood
    Sahara
    Seventh Son
    Soldier
    Solo: A Star Wars Story
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2016)
    Transformers, the Last Knight

    Female led action flops?

    Alice Through the Looking Glass
    Cutthroat Island
    Mortal Engines

    So your initial premise was seriously flawed. Plenty of male-led action films flop - far more than female led.

  11. #26
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaelforce View Post
    Female led action flops?

    Alice Through the Looking Glass
    Cutthroat Island
    Mortal Engines

    So your initial premise was seriously flawed. Plenty of male-led action films flop - far more than female led.
    Look, I get the problem that you have to admit that the Elektra and Catwoman movies exist in order to call them flops, which goes against our desire to forget they exist, but we have to come together now and say yes, these movies were real, we were inflicted with them, and enough time has passed that we can come forward and heal from such shitty, shitty movies... list them. Just list them.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    I think you can't really give a general reason that is really dependent on the movie.

    Some of the more recent flops (like for example Charlie's Angels) were for example more or less marketed as movies by woman for woman, so it is not really surprising that less men show up.
    CA was more like a tv pilot thinking was ready for theatres, and I say that as a fan of the movie.

    In case of Terminator Dark Fate, I don't think that people were really interested in another reboot of this franchise, and without Schwarzenegger as lead what is even the point of rebooting this franchise?
    That's imo as pointless as making Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp (which is afaik also planed will probably also not do that well).
    In some cases a franchise is just to strongly tied to specific actors.
    Terminator's salvageble but it needs to heavily modified to not be a zombie franchise. Arnie is both its anchor and a raison why its still going, what they should do is leave him out completely do a full reboot and make the franchise centre around someone else new, like Grace, maybe keep Connor as a leader but not the lead in the movies, more like supporting cast and focus it fully on the future war. Stop relying so much on the time travel, they've regurgitated Terminator 2 every single time except the original movie. Hard reboot, ditch the rest of the movies except imply something with time travel but that's just fan service/easter egg don't make it crucial.

  13. #28
    Mighty Member chamber-music's Avatar
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    Seems like the female fronted action films that fail tend to be not that great. I can't really think of many female fronted action films that flopped that were amazing movies. Male fronted action films flop all the time as well.

    Charlie's Angels flopping probably had more to do with younger generations not caring much about old show adaptions such as Charlie's Angels. The TV show reboot flopped and the movies from the early 2000's benefited from the star power once popular actresses like Barrymoore, Liu and Diaz. The all male A-Team movie and Man from Uncle films also didn't do great at the box office. The only reason the Mission Impossible franchise is still around and successful is because of Tom Cruise. Cruise turned the old sixties espionage show into a action vehicle for himself and used his star power to get some of Hollywood's top directors and writers to work on the films with him. The Mission Impossible did franchise did manage to introduce the Ilsa Faust character and make her Hunt's female equivalent successfully.

    Ripley in Alien was originally supposed to be a male character but they gender swapped him and cast Weaver.

    For some reason it seems like almost every woman in action films or shows does the spinning head scissor takedown move in fight scenes. It is pretty much Black Widows signature move in the Marvel films. I get that it is a flashy move and a way for a smaller fighter to take down a larger opponent but it has got very repetitive.
    Last edited by chamber-music; 08-01-2020 at 08:36 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffHanger2 View Post
    I think the problem with some recent ones is they try to just have a man in a woman's body.
    What does that mean?

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Look, I get the problem that you have to admit that the Elektra and Catwoman movies exist in order to call them flops, which goes against our desire to forget they exist, but we have to come together now and say yes, these movies were real, we were inflicted with them, and enough time has passed that we can come forward and heal from such shitty, shitty movies... list them. Just list them.
    Most folks don't have an issue calling a movie a flop if it really did that in terms of box office.

    The point Gaelforce was making is when male lead films flop they are not generally used as weapons to negate others.

    And we can list script, executives and all that-which get accepted when it's male lead or even something like Justice League. Yet NONE of that matters when it's Ghostbusters or Birds of Prey or Star Wars. It's always the fault of the woman or person of color.

    And most movies those trailers and ads are NOT done by the folks who made the film. For those who remember the 2007 movie with Jeffrey Jones-Whose Your Caddy. The trailer would have you think it's a racism comedy with Jones being racist to the new black owners of the golf club. Race had NOTHING to do with it. Even the writer had to go on IMBD to say that multiple times.

    I think the issue for many films is WHO is the male that is doing the work. Because it's funny when we look all over the place others are not having issue tossing female lead action films. And most have a decent plot.

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