Open Forum Friday: Why Aren’t There More Movies Being Made for Women?


It would seem that whenever the occasional female-centric blockbuster hits theatres, the same conversations always eventually bubble to the surface: men mutter about how bad it looks while women wonder why they don’t get more of them. The box office has shown time and again that women are a bankable demographic (Sex and the City and The Twilight Saga are proof of that), and believe it or not, a 2012 MPAA report shows that women make up a slightly larger percentage of the overall moviegoing public than men. That would seem to go completely against the fact that male-oriented films currently dominate the cinematic landscape. So why aren’t studios making more movies for the ladies?

There is a generally held belief that women will go to see movies targeted at men, but men will never in a million years be caught dead seeing a movie that is aimed at women. In practice it seems to be true, but it’s hard to prove since women generally have so few other options to choose from. On the other hand, last year saw a handful of very successful movies with strong female leads including The Hunger Games, Brave, Prometheus and Zero Dark Thirty, all of which brought in plenty of moviegoers from both sides. Perhaps more movies like this would help solve the dilemma. What do you think? Are there enough movies being made with women in mind? Are men unfairly biased against movies that revolve around characters of the opposite sex? Can movies like The Heat and Bridesmaids help change the gender imbalance in Hollywood? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

Around the Web:

  • Ian Strope

    For me it’s simple: a solid story with authentic characters and no pandering. A great character is worth watching be it some crew cut dude, a tired old lady, or a pizza dog.

  • ProCynic

    I agree with Ian, women like to watch Buff Men period..Women normally see themselves as the wimpish heroine being swept away but the white knight. So they have their daily TV crap to satisfy their thirst. I await the replies of hate. People are sooooooooooooo brave online. And I agree with Frank, enough with sex scenes and Kissing crap, stop padding the movie and get on with telling the story.

  • Kasper F. Nielsen

    I like rom-coms, so if that’s solely for the ladies, then bring on more of those.

  • ProCynic

    When Harry Met Sally is in my top 10 movies of all time, watch it every ten years and something else applies to my own life..Adding to my earlier rant, why don’t women like non-women movies (If there is any?) Women like same shite we do, don’t they?

  • Scott

    Your argument isn’t clearly stated enough to hold a serious discussion on the subject. What defines a movie being “made for women?” is it purely just the existence of a female lead? Or does it have more to do with the story structure, themes, etc? This single point will greatly shape any argument for or against.

  • Loren

    I can’t wait! The women going audience is going to love “Nymphomanic” by Lars Von Trier. Actually know a couple lady friends of mine that really liked “Anti-Christ”.

  • Glendon

    The problem isn’t if a movie is “oriented” to women, but if women and stories about women are being represented in the movies. Which is where The Bechdel Test helps. To pass, a movie just has to:

    1. has to have at least two women in it,
    2. who talk to each other,
    3. about something besides a man

    It’s an extremely easy test for a film to pass, yet a tonne still don’t.

  • ProCynic

    Is it me, or am I the only guy in the world that thinks Sandra Bullock looks like Micheal Jackson? Nice arse, shame about the boat race ( as we say in UK)

  • Matt the Kiwi

    I think there’s always been a pretty good female representation in blockbusters (Alien, Aliens, Terminator, Underworld movies, Abyss, Charlies Angels, etc) but one area we do seem to have been a bit underwhelming is the super-hero genre. They’re always an after-thought was the boys do well (Catwoman, Supergirl, Electra)…maybe its time for Christopher Nolan to take on Wonder Woman.
    And a little off topic but does anybody know a female who obsessively collects blu-rays like we blokes do? Maybe female-centric movies are also not good merchandise cash cows. I know my wife would go with a pair of shoes over a die cast model of Judge Dredd any day.

  • Wayne Regier

    I think it comes down to preference in medium. All of my sisters and my Girlfriend prefer television. They also hate the theater experience of parking, queuing, and being forced to sit still and be quiet. I find they much prefer the ability to pause, FB, chat a little, and generally make viewing more comfortable and passive. They also seem to enjoy small bites of anything long form. I lament that the significant other will watch 3 – 4 episodes of Walking Dead or Hit & Miss but bitch at the thought of a movie that clocks in over 90 minutes. Also, there are many more women to see on the small screen. Our Hulu is full of Parks and Rec., Community, 30 Rock, Modern Family, and the Netflix is full of Walking Dead, Hit & Miss, The Fall, Downton Abby, Weeds, and The Killing. All of these have very prominent roles for women. Another thing to consider is that my Mother and several female friends greatly enjoy docs over scripted and they all go bat shit for reality TV.
    We recently ran into an issue of choice where I was up for anything and had a pick of 8 different movies playing in 13 different theaters. The 1 film she wanted was Bling Ring and that had only one screen and 3 shows for that weekend. Everything is geared toward testosterone at the multiplex. Some Indy art house places fall victim as well. They just want something different than the men. Luckily technology has allowed them that choice.