Ironically for a movie that will no doubt go down in history as one of 2019’s most notorious box office bombs, Charlie’s Angels has stirred up plenty of conversation. Based on the numbers, not a lot of people actually went out and saw Elizabeth Banks’ reboot, but in the weeks since it first landed in theaters more and more moviegoers seem to have become aware of it, and a lot of that has to do with how director/star/producer/writer Banks dealt with the fallout from the film’s disastrous debut.
Instead of simply admitting defeat and realizing that modern audiences weren’t interested in the latest reboot of a TV show that originally aired in 1976, Banks went on the offensive and blamed the failure of Charlie’s Angels on everything from poor marketing to men, as well as aiming a couple of shots at the comic book genre for good measure by dismissing the success of both Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel as examples of female-driven action blockbusters that were a hit with both fans and critics.
Even after a full month in theaters, the global box office haul for Charlie’s Angels is sitting at just $55.8 million, and when you factor in marketing and advertising costs, the $50 million project will ultimately end up in the red. Elizabeth Banks’ comments have been dominating interviews about the movie so far, but in a recent interview, Kristen Stewart finally opened up on the flick’s failure, admitting that she was still proud to be a part of it.
“I think if I had made a movie that wasn’t good, and one that I wasn’t proud of, and a lot of people saw it, I would be devastated. Luckily, I’m not feeling gutted because I really am proud of the movie. And I think that the kind of climate that we’re living in right now is polarizing and it’s weird, and it’s kind of hard to promote a movie like that. And I think trying to have a really complicated, overly-politicized feminist conversation in a five minute TV interview about Charlie’s Angels… I’m like, ‘Dude, we just wanted to have a good time’.”
Stewart makes a good point, in that the furor surrounding Banks blaming everyone and everything for the movie’s failure had an adverse effect on how the rest of the cast were treated during the promotional trail, but the Twilight star seems to be happy with her work regardless.
“I’m bummed that we probably won’t make another one, but at the same time I’m really proud of the movie, and I’m so happy that it exists and can live in the world. Because I think for a lot of people, it’s still kind of important even in a very non-serious way.”
Charlie’s Angels isn’t going to turn a profit, but at least it will be remembered for generating some conversation after becoming an unlikely lighting rod for controversy that reopened the debate about female-driven franchises, the domination of comic book movies over cinema and the gender divide in Hollywood.