Yeah, it doesn't seem to be quite that bad, 6.8 on IMDb for Birds of Prey compared to a 5.2 for Ghostbusters. Still not great user reviews though, and I can see why the person I heard that from compared them, the whole all-female main cast, girl power thing. No idea why movie studios keep doing these girl power movies when they've mostly been flopping and reviewing poorly, Ghostbusters 2016 started the trend, and it has been continued by Ocean's 8, Charlie's Angels 2019, and now Birds of Prey, all of which got bad to meh user reviews, and the Ghostbusters and Charlie's Angels reboots were box office flops as well (with only Ocean's 8 managing to break even). Seems like Birds of Prey may continue that trend, first weekend estimates are coming in about $20m below pre-release projections in the US and $10-20m below pre-release projections internationally, and the break-even point is being estimated at $235m by Box Office Pro.
*sigh* There always has to be one of you on every thread. (And usually there's more.)
The fact is that female-centered movies are averaging higher ticket sales and revenues than are male-centered movies these days, overall. Without pre-judging Birds of Prey without having yet seen it myself, it's VERY selective to only highlight Ocean's 8 and the Ghostbusters and Charlie's Angels remakes when there have been, in the last decade, such pictures as Mad Max: Fury Road, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Gravity, The Hunger Games, a few Star Wars movies (the first three of which at least were not flops anyway), The Bridesmaids, Hidden Figures, The Hate U Give, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel, and those are just some of the better-known examples. Another film that users created a thread about here on VGC to crap on in advance was Greta Gerwig's film adaptation of Little Women, which has gone on to become a critical and commercial smash hit (especially relative to its budget), in addition to being nominated for six Oscars. Also, in animation, there have been such success stories as Inside Out, Finding Dory, Moana, and Zootopia, as well as both Frozen movies, all of which have been well-received. (Yeah, that's a Disney lineup, I know: they're basically the only company that does animation for girls.) Most of these pictures could be described as pro-feminist and three (The Bridesmaids, Little Women, and Hidden Figures) use all-female casts of protagonists. A few of them even had female directors.
In addition to the above commercial hits, I would point to a number of other examples of female-centered pictures that impressed me over the last decade, including the lesbian romances Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Carol, as well the Studio Ghibli picture The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and one of my personal favorite movies of the last decade, Winter's Bone, because all of those are objectively solid films even though they didn't make the most money in the world. Also Lady Bird and I, Tonya.
Not that I'm counting on Birds of Prey to be a masterpiece of cinema or anything. My expectations of it are moderate. Critics and audiences are scoring it better than predecessor Suicide Squad, but not to a degree that suggest it to be anything really special. I'm expecting a passable-but-not-special, goofy, heavily stylized celebration of female friendships...which is fine by me. But we'll see.
My point though is that, regardless of this particular movie, while you might find "girl power" frightening and objectionable, the fact is that large numbers of people are interested in stories about girls and women, and not just in seeing them sexualized and turned into naught but helpless, hapless victims all the time like you'd prefer. And also that, frankly, many if not most female-centered movies being released today really do have some artistic merit. One really has to reach to find only the lesser examples. That takes conscious effort.Last edited by Jaicee - on 09 February 2020