I say that Diane English should be kicking up a big, fat fuss right now for a full-frills release of The Women. Because I say those quality actresses in a “frenemy” comedy like The Women are a draw for at least a $20M opening weekend in wide release, even if it’s only so-so. True, Warner Bros. must draw heavily on SATC and market it as another pic about female friendships, upscale lifestyles and urban sex. As for The Women trailer that was paired with Sex and the City, I’d redo it to appeal more to the psychographic of SATC’s two-quadrant audience. Along the lines of, “If you loved Sex and the City, then you need to see The Women who started it all.”
Postscript: Right after I posted the above on my Web site, a top Warner Bros. exec phoned me and said, “We should give it another look.”
I hope the studio does that rather than stubbornly stick with Picturehouse’s plan for a limited release to “find” an audience. Just find the SATC audience, for crissakes. According to the exit polling, an incredible 85 percent of the audience for the movie’s opening were women, and of those, 80 percent were older than 25. On Saturday, the audience was 75 percent female; they came back with boyfriends and husbands in tow.
Also, it’s never made sense to me for any studio to spend $30M+ to market a limited-release film that isn’t intended for serious awards consideration, only to open the wallet still wider if and when the pic opens in more theaters in order to compete against all the cineplex clutter.
My feeling is that, these days, studios need to do everything possible to make their money on the first and second weekends for low-budget films — and then the rest is gravy. How apt that the lyrics to the Duffy song “Mercy” on The Women trailer’s soundtrack are: “Why won’t you release me? ... I’m begging you for mercy.”