You know what sells? Sex and explosions. Just take the Transformers movies for example. The total gross income of the recent Transformers movies in the United States is $1,319,187,682. Talk about a lot of zeroes. That’s more than all of the Toy Story movies combined ($852,637,924). You’ll notice how Toy Story has no sex and no explosions that I can recall.
But aren’t there more Transformers movies than Toy Story movies? Why yes curious reader, Transformers has four movies, and Toy Story only has three. However, Toy Story has been around for almost twenty years, so it’s had a lot more time to accumulate money.
So the question follows: why is a multiple-academy-award-winning movie not making more at the box office than a movie whose greatest achievement is a BET (Black Entertainment Television) Best Actor Award to Anthony Anderson and multiple Razzie’s? (A Razzie is an award given to the worst movies of the year.)
The answer is simple: Megan Fox and enormous exploding robots with swords. Kudos to Michael Bay for knowing exactly what the people want.
Now as much as it irks me that what sells isn’t a brilliantly written story, incredible drama and engaging acting, there is something that bothers me more: the way women are portrayed in a lot of these movies. It bugs me that some of these leading ladies have made their whole career being Hollywood’s idea of what a woman should be—hypersexual and seriously lacking in any real character. That’s not to say that women can’t or shouldn’t be sexy; it’s that when that is all I seem to be seeing from popular movies, I start to realize there’s something wrong.
I’m tired of movies with leading ladies that have zero personality and a lot of sex appeal raking in the dough.
Let’s be honest for a moment here. If it weren’t for the witless, attractive girls in horror movies, where would the industry be? I can’t even imagine a world where they didn’t read the creepy Latin text in the Book of the Dead in abandoned cabins. Or where a helpless, scantily clad damsel doesn’t get chased by a crazed, chainsaw wielding murderer. Take a quick peek at any slasher, natural disaster, wild animal attack, or just about any horror movie made in the last twenty years to get an idea of what I’m getting at.
But it doesn’t stop at horror movies. What would Hollywood do with all of its surplus spandex if it weren’t for the women in action flicks? Wave goodbye to the illustrious careers of Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Rosario Dawson and many other actresses that have built their whole careers on wearing only the bare necessities and shooting zombies, aliens and burly, tattooed baddies. Take for example any of the Fast and Furious movies, most superhero films or almost any of the movies the ladies I listed above are in.
What saddens me is that an incredible amount of people, including myself, turn out for these sorts of movies. Where would date nights be without horror movies? What would impressionable middle schoolers spend their parents’ money on if not on the latest action blockbuster? Embedded in the minds of youths around the world is this ideal woman that doesn’t really exist except in the movies. Yet girls attempt to follow in their footsteps because it helps them garner attention or seem beautiful. It’s all rather disheartening.
I hope someday I get to watch an action movie with an intelligent, charismatic and quite feminine super heroine who gets lauded critically and financially. I hope it’s written so well that there doesn’t need to be sex in the movie in order for it to be watched. Because I don’t know if I can take many more damsels in distress, dumb blondes or double d leather suit ditzes on the silver screen.