Despite a rather ambitious marketing push, including a music video—with Lana Del Rey, Ariana Grande, and Miley Cyrus—for the new girl-power Charlie’s Angels reboot, the film failed to perform at the box office, and in fact, appears to have bombed in epic fashion. The angelic remake pulled in a paltry $8.6 million domestically on its opening weekend and $28 million internationally, even though the film’s budget maxed out at $50 million plus. Critical reviews have been less-than-favorable across the board, and the film is currently polling at 58-percent on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Before the movie was released in theaters, the film’s writer, director, producer, and co-star Elizabeth Banks told the Herald Sun, “This movie has to make money. If ‘Charlie’s Angels’ bombs, it reinforces a stereotype that men don’t go to see women do action movies.” She went on to say, “You’ve had 37  Spider-Man movies and you’re not complaining! I think women are allowed to have one or two action franchises every 17 years–I feel totally fine with that.”

This notion from the Pitch Perfect director seems to ignore the fact that with any film, indeed with every film, many contributing factors need to be taken into consideration in assessing why a film generates heat or dies on the vine. For instance, the current re-imagining of the classic 70’s TV show stars indie darling Kristen Stewart, who isn’t necessarily a box-office juggernaut at this stage of her career, along with two relative newcomers, English actress Ella Balinska and Aladdin star Naomi Scott. From a marketing perspective, this is quite a gamble. There’s a reason studios pay millions of dollars to procure A-list stars—because they fill the seats. In fact, Sony has purportedly cut its marketing budget on Bosley’s Angels in half, and more cuts could be on the horizon if the film doesn’t catch fire soon. For context, in 2000, the Charlie’s Angels trio Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore drew in $40 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend and received a 68-percent approval rating on Rotton Tomatoes. That film ended up grossing $264 worldwide against a $93 million budget.

Stewart told Variety, “At one point I think we said [the film] was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, is it still fun?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah dude, obviously, it’s ‘Charlie’s Angels.’” 

Another unavoidable issue is that the Charlie’s Angels trailer seems to appeal to action-movie aficionados and high-octane cinema junkies—the folks who love their car chases, unimaginable explosions, death-defying camera work, and ridiculous fight scenes. This particular Charlie’s Angels seemed to be right in that vein, like it was intended for the Fast & Furious or the Mission Impossible crowds. But by all accounts, the kick-ass action in this motion picture just isn’t there. And if you’re going to survive in Tinsel Town, you gotta give ‘em what they want. 

That being said, another potential problem with this spirited yet fledgling film appears to be that people may have finally had enough of the interminable reboots. None of them are performing. Men in Black: International … bombed! Godzilla: King of the Monsters … bombed! Terminator: Dark Fate … bombed! X-Men: Dark Phoenix … bombed spectacularly! Charlie’s Angels may very well be a good, fun movie with a lot of interesting ideas and genre-bending appeal; however, it may also be a casualty of reboot fatigue. 

So, what do you think? Why do you think this reboot is struggling? Is it because the testosterone-fueled audience is unable to accept a righteous action film with all-female leads? Or is it for lack of star power? Or is it because the movie itself simply missed the target? Please share!