Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Men Always Win, Even When Women Beat Them
Diverse opinions on how the new Sex and the City film fits into today's culture are causing a furore, but I've got a different bone to pick here, and it has to do with the British media and their response to the British box office. As in America, the fourth Indiana Jones film opened here on May 22nd, and the Sex and the City film followed a week later. But while reports of the box-office results in the U.S. are all 'surprise: women do go to the cinema!', the UK media seem to be playing a very odd trick. What do headlines like 'Sex fails to match Indiana in the UK' and 'Sex and the City? We'd rather take a trip with Indiana Jones' suggest to you? Because when I first read them, I assumed that Indiana had held onto the top spot and the New Yorkers had taken second place. But no. If you can work around the bizarre narrative of the articles, you'll discover that this week's box-office champ was actually Sex and the City, which grossed about £8.7 million to Indiana's £5.5 million (figures here).
So why are these articles so focused on the fact that Sex and the City's opening weekend doesn't match Indiana Jones' opening £12 million? Why does it matter so much? Quite frankly I think it's quite amazing that a film based on an American television show that surely can't have had that large an audience (Channel 4 is less widely watched than other channels, and American imports, much as I love them, aren't generally watched by too many people) has made so much money. Seriously, £8.7 million is a huge haul, and I hardly think it's fair to compare it to a big action-adventure family franchise comeback. The two films are completely different, appealing to completely different audiences- and aren't some of Sex's audience going to be the ones dragged along by partner/children to see Indiana as opposed to the other way around?- and such a comparison is, quite frankly, ludicrous. Both have been hugely successful- so why slam one's success?
p.s. Apologies for the horrifically rudimentary graphic. I only have Paint, but isn't it more exciting than just the posters?