A report started circulating this morning that Warner Bros. studios, reacting to the poor returns of Nicole Kidman's and Jodie Foster's recent films, has decided to no longer make movies with female leads. Nice, eh?
While it hasn't been officially confirmed, it's really just an almost refreshingly honest statement of most major studios' current policies. Try to name even half a dozen successful recent films starring women that aren't brain-dead romantic-comedies. Now come up with a list of valuable men's leading roles in popular films. Which one's longer? Definitely the latter, and that's assuming you could even come up with enough of the former to actually make a list.
Is it just good business practice? After all, why would any business keep putting out a product that wasn't making money, and it was pretty popularly and critically determined that both Kidman's and Foster's films (The Invasion and The Brave One, respectively) were not that great.
But what I question is why they automatically assume the reason for it is that the films featured females in starring roles. Some other, just as valid reasons, are that the direction wasn't good, the writing wasn't good, the supporting cast wasn't good, or that the premise of the movie itself wasn't good. Why are none of these nearly as important as, or at least taken into account with, the fact that there's a woman up there on the screen for the majority of the film's running time?
Instead of cutting out women because the horrible films they're in aren't making money, why not try putting women in good, vibrant, challenging leading roles? Why not stop keeping them confined to the chick flick ghetto and start giving them quality scripts, directors, and production?
Who knows - there might be a whole new market out there, of both men and women, who would be willing to see movies like that. But we'll never know unless somone tries to reach them.