Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why it sucks that The Host didn't do well at the box office

If you're hoping to see more ladies, more sci-fi, or more ladies in sci-fi, it sucks that The Host appears to be crashing and burning at the box office.

On its opening night, The Host came in fourth with a measly $5.5 million, behind a male-led testosterone fest and an animated movie about cavemen (that's already been out for a week). Experts suggest this is likely to yield a $13 million total for its weekend run.

Now, am I saying that women can't enjoy movies about nonsensical "military" action? Of course not. Look, I own the first G.I. Joe movie. I am THERE. But we've spent a good 200,000 years watching men do stuff. I'm ready to watch women do stuff too. I want women in leading roles in sci-fi and action movies.

The people that make movies pay close attention to what fails and what succeeds, and they look at this in the form of generalizations and demographics. When The Host bombs, what are they going to say? They're going to say, "This was a science fiction movie with a female protagonist and it failed." They're very unlikely to say, "Oh, this movie had a bad script! Let's try again next week!"

No, they'll pick another action movie with a male protagonist because, well, James Bond and Jason Bourne make money. And why mess with a winning formula?

Dear one lady that we allowed in the movie:
enjoy the back of the box. PROGRESS!


  1. Or maybe the box office results are telling the studios that a lousy movie won't bring in a crowd. THE HOST is 12% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes and, if you'd like my opinion, it deserves it. Although I love s-f and women -- for years, ALIENS was my favorite flick -- I don't love bad movies.

    THE HUNGER GAMES finished at 85% fresh (as far as I'm concerned, it's also deserving of its total). If box office is the only factor that matters, didn't its success prove that women and science fiction can make money?

    1. Unfortunately I suspect TPTB won't see if that way. Paranormal Activity 4 has a 25% fresh rating on RT, but it made 53.9M at the box office, so are we seeing YET ANOTHER OH GOD sequel? You betcha.

      I have hopes for The Hunger Games! However, since THG falls into the same "cultural phenomena" bracket as Twilight, I'm not sure how relevant it will prove to future movies made.

  2. True. That said, I am *so* glad that The Hunger Games was one of the most successful female-led movies in recent memory. I do like strong female leads, and I especially like strong female leads who are less defined by their romantic relationships than by the world they're confronting.

    Maybe The Host has a strong female lead who isn't defined by the men she's romantically involved with -- I haven't seen it. But that's not what the trailers would have me believe.

    1. I agree! The success of THG is heartening.

      I kind of doubt it too... however, how many other sci-fi movies with female leads have we seen in the last ten years? *tumbleweeds blow by* lol

  3. I feel like sci-fi and women are a hard mix sometimes (I say this as a woman in the science field and a female sci-fi author.) The Hunger Games did great, but most don't realize it falls in the sci-fi genre. When it comes to books, I find it even harder to find a great female protagonist who isn't defined by a love triangle.
    I'm reading The Host, and I'm having a hard time getting through it...