2020 was suppose to be the year Hollywood progressives virtue signaled to the world that female actors, writers, and director had taken over the film industry with a laundry list of summer blockbusters…and then the industry collapsed.
Hollywood’s dependency on the Chinese market blew up in their faces in 2020 as the Chinese ‘Coronavirus’ not only shut down the entire country but just about every other country in the world. Because of this, the film industry has been brought to it’s knees. Movie theaters are struggling to survive while being shut down and film studios are panicking as their nine figure productions are on the shelf with no way to recoup their massive budgets.
Business Insider released a story reflecting on the fate of the 2020 box office, while many films have been pushed back to late 2020 and in some cases 2021, the uncertainty of how theaters will be allowed to operate and how many of them will remain has few upset that COVID-19 ruined the year of women.
However, as we have seen in the last few years, female led franchises weren’t very successful before the global shutdown. A number of films which declared “the future is female” has seen box office losses for Hollywood studios.
In 2020, a handful of female led films experience similar box office failures. Underwater, the scifi horror film starring Kristen Stewart took a big loss in January and reviews were not favorable for the movie. The Rhythm Section starring Blake Lively was a massive box office failure only drawing 5 million on a 50 million production budget and Birds of Prey is the lowest drawing DCEU film for Warner Bros thus far.
Looking at the future of female franchises that were uprooted due to the virus, the outlook isn’t much prettier. Mulan, the massive 250 million project from Disney is looking at a historical loss seeing as it’s target market in China is shut down indefinitely. Other big budget Disney projects included Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson, The New Mutants starring Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy, and finally The Eternals starring Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.
The business model of “For women, by women, starring women” has not panned out despite a hard push in the industry and in the media. With Chinese money drying up at alarming rates, American theaters closing down for good, and productions of Hollywood film shutting down for the foreseeable future, the industry is going to need to make a tough decision for it’s own survival.
Continue to prop up female led failures for the sake of virtue signaling or go back to making movies audiences want to see. As the economic pain of a global shutdown begins to take hold, the options don’t look good for the health of the industry.