She Said is One of the Biggest Box Office Flops in History

Despite the rave reviews and critical acclaim that the Universal Pictures film She Said received prior to release, the movie’s box office numbers are appallingly low. The film only made 2.2 million dollars on its opening weekend, making it one of the worst box office studio releases in history. Fans are not flocking to theaters to see the film, and audiences this holiday season may not want to watch realism portrayed on the big screen. Instead, films that offer escapism are faring well. The number one film is the superhero movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, followed by the comedic horror-thriller, The Menu.

The star-studded cast of She Said features Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, and Patricia Clarkson and is directed by Maria Schrader. The script that follows a real-life storyline that unfortunately, does not seem to be a draw for most audience members. Other female-led storylines, such as this year’s release of Wonder Woman 1984, have bombed. Disney’s Turning Red animated feature about a young girl going through puberty also failed miserably at the box office. The numbers reflect a polarizing shift indicating that moviegoers might not be interested in watching heroines struggle.

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The She Said storyline details the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood and the women affected by the convicted offenders’ abuse. Real-life victim Ashley Judd is also featured in the movie. People Magazine reports the actress saying, “It was very validating when someone finally wanted to listen and do something about it.”

Judd is referring, in part, to the powerful #MeToo movement, which exposed the underbelly of Hollywood’s sexual abuse. Executives like Weinstein were outed for using their power to coerce actresses and blacklist those, such as Judd, who resisted their advances. The #metoo movement in Hollywood sparked solidarity from women worldwide who tweeted and shared their own stories of sexual abuse and harassment.

Despite the solidarity millions of women showed for the scandal, that support has not shown up at the box office.

The Appeal of Domestic Horror in The Menu

Searchlight Pictures

One of the more popular films dominating the box office right now is The Menu. The main character in horror-thriller is a chef depicted by Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes’ character is not subservient to the patrons of his restaurant. Instead, he’s the one who holds all the cards, the cards, in this case, being what they eat.

The movie draws its horror from a true-life privileged mundanity and provides a broad, if not entirely realistic, commentary on social influence. The food in the restaurant is a metaphor for lies people willingly consume.