Why Did Charlie’s Angels Flop at the Box Office?

Franchise fatigue could be rearing its head toward the Charlie’s Angels reboot.


Charlie’s Angels reportedly raked in roughly $8 million at the box office in its opening weekend.

The Elizabeth Banks–helmed reboot of the 1970s television series, starring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith, and the 2000 iteration, starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu, was poised to be a smash with audiences. But apparently not even Kristen Stewart, playing a “chaotic gay spy”, alongside Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott wasn’t enough to get the audiences to come in droves, at least not the way they did for noted dad film Ford v Ferrari, which raked in $31 million in the same span of time.

So what happened? The action-comedy seems to have been marketed appropriately (there was even a tie-in with the feel-good friendship comedy The Bold Type, which definitely appeals to the demographic of people Sony would probably want to buy tickets to see this film). It’s about a diverse trio of spies (or are they more like private detectives?) who stop bad guys from making world-destroying weapons, and are apparently also really good dancers. Internet Boyfriend (former Internet Boyfriend?) Noah Centineo plays what the angels call a “hot nerd.” It also boasted varying levels of star power, with Stewart being a big draw, obviously, and Scott, who made a splash as Princess Jasmine in the live-action Aladdin remake earlier this year (and that project eventually cracked $1 billion).

Critics were saying the movie was actually worth your time, praising Stewart for her comedic chops. The notoriously private actress even went so far as to get out there on the press circuit, debuting look after look to get people hype for the film.

And still, not enough people seemed to care to actually go see Charlie’s Angels in theaters. The movie cost somewhere around $50 million, which makes the $8 million box office numbers so disappointingly low.

Perhaps everyone is just suffering from franchise fatigue, and craving original content that tells a story no one has seen before, or at least gives an actual fresh take on something. And, of course, it is a shame that a modern take on a classic story loaded with what Banks, a director-producer-star of the film, calls “sneaky feminist ideas” would end up being the project where we direct our frustration with reboots and remakes, but some things really are better left untouched.

However, Banks has chimed in herself on Twitter. Ultimately, she’s proud of the project she created, regardless of whether it’s considered a flop or not.

There’s always next weekend—it’s rare, but possible, for a big film like this to do better the second weekend, especially now that everyone is talking about it—and with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend right around the corner. Or maybe this version of Charlie’s Angels will become a cult classic. In reality, though, you already know what will happen: In three to six months, this will turn out to be a hit with the in-flight entertainment crowd on airplanes.

Related: Drew Barrymore Discusses Charlie’s Angels, Travel Writing, and Hans Wegner at a 1920s-Themed Party