Sex and the City, women and the United States movie industry

This video is the official Sex and the City movie trailer.

By Melissa Silverstein, The Women’s Media Center in the USA:

Will the Success of Sex and the City Force Hollywood to Stop Ignoring Women?

Posted June 3, 2008.

Sex and the City killed at the box office. Maybe now Hollywood will stop only making movies geared at teen boys.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week or so you know that the women from the TV show Sex and the City are back, this time on the big screen. Four years after we said goodbye to Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, the women have taken the movie industry and the country by storm, besting all projections with an opening weekend take of almost $56 million dollars.

Sex and the City made almost $27 million on its opening day, which is the same amount that The Devil Wears Prada made in its opening weekend. It earned the highest opening box office for a romantic comedy ever. The most stunning news is that it won the weekend by beating Indiana Jones, a feat not even the most optimistic observers predicted. Variety reported that “Sex and the City whips Indiana Jones” and went further, stating that the “film’s performance took Hollywood by utter surprise, shattering the decades-old thinking that females, particularly those over 25, can’t fuel a big opening or go up against a male-driven summer tentpole.”

Carrie & Co. have sent Hollywood into a frenzy — and according to website Deadline Hollywood “looking through their film and TV libraries to see what else they can produce for the fortysomething-and-older female” — thinking that maybe women, even those over 40, are a real potential audience. Finally.

Whatever your thoughts on the actual content of Sex and the City, you can’t help but acknowledge that this is a cultural watershed moment for women’s films; that’s true for a couple of reasons.

* Everyone (who talks about movies) has spent the last couple of weeks discussing a film that stars and celebrates women and women’s friendships. Indiana Jones, which has two of the most successful moviemakers attached to it in George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, is so yesterday’s news, just one week after being released after an almost 20 year wait!
* Everyone (who talks about movies) was scratching their heads trying to figure out how much money an R rated movie targeted at adult women could make. Imagine, women preoccupying the minds of Hollywood’s men. The New York Times reported that studio execs were shocked at the interest.
* The male misogynists in the film blogosphere have outed themselves in a big way with their extreme meanness about the film, one actually calling it a “Taliban recruitment film.”
* The film sold 1 million advance tickets through Fandango, at one point selling 10 tickets per second.

See also here.

A critical review of the film: here.

Another critical review: here.

Meryl Streep interview on women in films etc.: here.

Women in movies and TV series: here.

Show Me the Women — In Hollywood, by Jane Fonda: here.

Sony email hacking reveals Jennifer Lawrence was paid less than American Hustle male co-stars: here

BEHIND THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN TODAY’S DIRECTORS “When it comes to the issue of diversity in Hollywood, non-white women are the proverbial canaries in the coalmine. A meaningful commitment to inclusion will mean they are hired regularly, along with white women and men of color. Their near-absence hints at much deeper institutional problems in the TV industry.” [Variety]

THERE WERE MORE MAJOR WOMEN PROTAGONISTS IN 2002 MOVIES THAN IN 2014 “Of the 100 highest-grossing movies, female characters comprised a measly 12 percent of protagonists, according to the study’s findings. That’s 3 percent lower than 2013’s numbers and 4 percent lower than those of 2002, when ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Panic Room’ were among the year’s highest-grossing titles. With all of 2014’s significant film roles factored in, women represented 29 percent of major characters and 30 percent of all speaking roles.” [HuffPost]

CHARLIZE THERON DEMANDED SHE GET PAID WHAT HER MALE CO-STAR WAS PAID And she got it in the upcoming “The Huntsman.” [Think Progress]

HOLLYWOOD INEQUALITY PERSISTS You don’t want to know how many more speaking roles there are for men than women. [AP]

8 Hollywood Women Who Have Called Out Industry Sexism: here.

Bollywood promotes the leading ladies – but won’t pay the [same] wages as for men: here.

Britain: Christine Payne explains how her union Equity is fighting for gender equality across the entertainment industry: here.

3 thoughts on “Sex and the City, women and the United States movie industry

  1. Pingback: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s high heel damage | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Forbes magazine’s annual Celeb 100 list, chronicling the world’s highest-paid entertainers over the past year featured a wide range of talents from all over the globe including a British chef, a Canadian rapper and a Russian tennis star – but only 16 women.

    The combined women on the list make $809m, compared with $4.35bn for the men. This reflects the gender pay gap among both celebrities and the wider society, according to Forbes.

    The magazine cited national statistics that white women make only 78 cents to every dollar a white man makes while Hispanic women earn 56 cents, black women earn 64 cents, and Native women make only 59 cents. Those numbers mirror those put forth recently by the White House.

    Of the few women listed, Katy Perry was highest at third, ranked after world-renowned boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Taylor Swift also graced the top 10. Overall, female musicians did well on the list, claiming seven of the 16 spots. TV stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Sofia Vergara, Judge Judy Sheindlin, and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting made the cut. But surprisingly few female actors could be found: only Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson were on the list.

    Besides wage gaps, the lack of female leads in major movies could be blamed. Lawrence starred as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games but most blockbuster roles go to male counterparts.

    “The really top [female] stars get paid the same thing as their male counterparts, the problem is the averages don’t work because there are not enough parts for women to star in for them to get paid,” Sony’s former co-chair Amy Pascal, told Forbes in a 2013 interview.

    All of the female actors on the list declined to discuss their triumphs, according to Forbes. Perry, however, agreed to be the cover subject.

    “I’m not here to brag,” Perry told Forbes. “I’m here to inspire other females.”


  3. Pingback: Unequal Oscars, unequal Hollywood, unequal society | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.