It really got me thinking about opening weekend when Melissa Silverstein (from the blog Women & Hollywood) posted this excerpt from a USA Today article in which she was quoted:
If Sex and the City and Mamma Mia! have proved anything, it's that it makes no difference to the bottom line if most men decide to steer clear. Women did it all by themselves.
And if female moviegoers want more of the same, they will have to continue to take a break from their busy routines and buy a ticket again.
"Go see a movie about women on the opening weekend, that is what matters to Hollywood," says Melissa Silverstein, who blogs on the Women & Hollywood site and contributes to the Huffington Post. "We need to build our economic power and prove we're a market."
Cash, at least, doesn't have a gender bias.
"The only thing that makes anyone pay attention is money," says Diane English, the creator of TV's Murphy Brown whose update of the 1939 Joan Crawford-Norma Shear classic The Women arrives Sept. 12.
"Anyone who thinks otherwise shouldn't be in this business. Young men under 25 keep seeing comic-book and slasher films, and that's why Hollywood makes them. If women want to change things, they can't wait for the DVD."
Makes total sense, right? I have to admit that I feel sort of silly for not ever realizing the importance of opening weekend profits to movies made by, for, and about women. I also have to admit that I think it's sort of silly that opening weekend is so important in determining the success of a film, but if it's opening weekend sales they want, then maybe it's opening weekend sales we should give them. If more women-centered movies brought in more opening weekend profits, maybe more women-centered movies would be made.
It's not like there aren't other good reasons to go see movies right when they open. Dan says he likes to see movies on opening night or during opening weekend because the audiences are better. To him, a packed house makes for a better movie-going atmosphere, and since those who make the effort to see something during opening weekend are more likely to be fans of the genre, topic, director, etc., it's cool to be in a packed house of like-minded people. I have to admit that before meeting him, I never really thought of going to the movies in this way, even though I consider myself a movie-lover, but I get where he's coming from, and I'm starting to agree with him about that opening weekend feel. Another good thing about seeing something right after it opens is that you can read all of those online reviews that are full of spoilers, and you can take part right away in any discussions that are sparked by the film.
I'm new to this myself, but my advice to anyone interested in supporting women-centered films is to start following movie news so that you know what films are coming out and when. Read and subscribe to sites like Women & Hollywood and Movies by Women (which I learned of through Viva la Feminista). Learn which female directors and writers you really like, and make a commitment to see their films. There's still a long way to go to close the gender gap in Hollywood.
Anyone have any other good sites to recommend?