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Today more than ever, there seems to be a focus from nearly all studios on franchise film making. The movies that get support are the ones tat are part of established series, or have the potential to become established series. Anything that already has audience name recognition is a plus. Not everything can be Marvel or Star Wars, but everybody is looking for the next Marvel or Star Wars.
However, while this strategy largely pays off, 2019 has seen a lot of franchise movies, reboots, and sequels, that have completely failed to bring in the box office that some were clearly expecting. Terminator: Dark Fate didn't move the needle, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a disappointment, and so was Charlie's Angels.
Angels failed to gross $60 million worldwide which was barely enough to cover its production budget. It clearly wasn't what anybody was expecting. It would be understandable that the people involved would be disappointed in that result, but Kristen Stewart seems largely to be ok with it all. She tells The Playlist that she would only be disappointed in the film if she didn't think it was good. According to Stewart...
Well, to be honest with you, I think if I had made a movie that wasn’t good and one that I wasn’t proud of and a lot of people saw it, I would be devastated. Luckily I’m not feeling gutted because I really am proud of the movie. And I think that the kind of the climate that we’re living in right now is polarizing and it’s weird and it’s kind of hard to promote a movie like that. And I think trying to have a really complicated, overly politicized feminist conversation in a five minute TV interview about Charlie’s Angels….I’m like, ‘Dude, we just wanted to have a good time.
Box office success is great and all, and it's certainly important when you're dealing with the business of Hollywood, but for Kristen Stewart, as an actor, she says it's more important for her that she's proud of the work than it is that a lot of people went to see it. She'd rather make a movie like Angels than a box office success that she wasn't personally proud of.
Kristen Stewart goes on to say that her only real disappointment regarding the lack of box office success for Charlie's Angels is that it means that there probably won't be a sequel and she's "bummed" that there won't be another film. There almost certainly would have been another Charlie's Angels if this one had been a hit. The movie set itself up for sequels, though luckily not in a way that left dangling plot threads that will now never be resolved.
Certainly, while box office success is important, it's hardly a determining factor in a movie's quality. Most Oscar nominated movies don't break the bank at the box office and a lot of major blockbusters are frequently terrible. While Charlie's Angels didn't have the warmest of reviews, that likely had little to do with the movie's difficulty finding an audience. Terminator: Dark Fate, another of the 2019 franchise failures, was generally viewed as the best movie in the franchise since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and that wasn't enough to bring out the crowds either.
As somebody who did have a good time with Charlie's Angels, I also am bummed that we won't see another. It was a fun movie that i think more people would have enjoyed if they'd seen it. And yet, the industry moves on.