The new Charlie's Angels reboot debuted at the box-office recently and underperformed even according to the low expectations that the movie was starting out with. Despite drawing generally positive reviews from critics praising the tone and action set pieces, audiences showed little interest in the final product.
Prior to release, during an interview with Herald Sun, director of the movie Elizabeth Banks, who also plays Bosley, discussed the importance of the film while taking aim at female-led superhero movies:
"Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money. If this movie doesn't make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don't go see women do action movies."
It is generally considered a poor strategy to try to guilt audiences into watching a movie, even if it is ostensibly to further the cause of female participation in action films. In this case, the argument feels even more forced, considering the recent success of Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Ant-Man and the Wasp at the box office. But Banks went on to state that the success of those films is somewhat attributable to their belonging to a 'male-dominated' genre.
"They'll go and see a comic book movie with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel because that's a male genre. So even though those are movies about women, they put them in the context of feeding the larger comic book world, so it's all about, yes, you're watching a Wonder Woman movie but we're setting up three other characters or we're setting up Justice League."
It is quite true that the female heroes in the MCU and DCeU are only a part of a much larger narrative, that is still dominated by male superheroes, whether the narrative belongs to the Avengers or the Justice League. It is this reliance on male characters in the franchise that Charlie's Angels movies are not beholden to, making, according to Banks, their battle at the box-office even more of an uphill battle. The actor-director was also quick to clarify that she does not bear any personal ill will towards the female superheroes of Hollywood.
"By the way, I'm happy for those characters to have box office success, but we need more women's voices supported with money because that's the power. The power is in the money."
And that, sadly, is the one parameter on which Charlie's Angels bombed, making it very likely that the franchise will be once again put in the freezer by the studio. Whether or not you agree with Banks' reasoning, the fact remains that a great many numbers of factors go into making a franchise successful at the box-office, from the lead cast, to merchandising, to elaborate marketing campaigns, to fan loyalty towards the characters and world-building. It is not hard to imagine that a lack of studio funding in many of these departments had a part to play in the underwhelming financial returns of Charlie's Angels. This arrives from ComicBook.com