Film studios are opting for action movies over romantic comedies

Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal discusses why major movie studios are opting for blockbuster action movies over rom-coms. Read More...

Yahoo Finance’s Allie Canal discusses why major movie studios are opting for blockbuster action movies over rom-coms.

Video Transcript

EMILY MCCORMICK: And Allie, switching gears, another story I know you’re tracking in Hollywood is about rom-coms, or really, the lack of rom-coms that we’ve been seeing hitting theaters recently. How does this track with how studios have been trying to adapt to bring audiences back into movie theaters?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, Emily, I think this is one of my favorite stories that I’ve done. I’m very passionate about the rom-com, but you haven’t really seen that genre around lately, at least at the box office. So I spoke to a few analysts to try and figure out what has happened here. And basically, the crux of it is that other genres have started to encroach on the rom-com’s space, more specifically, those big action, superhero Marvel films. Marvel, they already have a lot of comedic relief in those films, so that’s kind of impacted a few different genres.

And audiences have come to expect that higher level of content. The formula of the rom-com, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins her back, that’s relatively stale. It’s the same story over and over again. Audiences want more, and studios are ultimately going to cater to the audience. And right now, if you look at the landscape, that audience is mostly men. So far, this year, movies that opened more than $20 million domestically saw audiences of roughly 59% male. That’s according to Comscore data. So this male domination is leading to more male-driven films.

Even “The Lost City,” which, apparently, that’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, you would not get that from these trailers. It was marketed more as an action film, because studios really wanted to hedge their bets and make sure they still could get a male turnout in case females didn’t come back to theaters, which has been the trend that we’ve seen throughout the pandemic. So, really interesting stuff here, as the superhero action film has sort of taken hold in Hollywood.

DAVE BRIGGS: Allie, this man loves romantic comedies. I miss them. Are they still being made? Are they going straight to streaming? And could they make a comeback?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, I mean, certainly, the small screen has been a place that we’ve seen a lot of these romantic comedies. And I think the good news here is that there is hope that they could make a comeback on the big screen. If you take a look in 2018, we had “Crazy Rich Asians,” for example. And that beat box office expectations, going on to secure $175 million domestically. Now part of the reason for that success with that was that this film was something different. It offered something new to an underserved community.

I mentioned “The Lost City.” Even though it wasn’t marketed as a rom-com, it still had a majority female audience, despite the concerns that females weren’t coming back to the box office. I’m assuming that had a lot to do with Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock. So in terms of that, I think that there is hope that we could at least see more female-driven films, especially as the pandemic era trends dissipate. But I think the moral of the story here is that the–

BRAD SMITH: Oh, no. We were going to talk with Allie about our favorite rom-coms. We’re still going to talk about them. I hope that we get Allie back. Emily and Dave, I got to know, what are your favorite rom-coms? Emily, you first.

EMILY MCCORMICK: OK, I have to say, my favorite– and I just looked it up. It came out in 2011. I can’t believe it was over a decade ago. But it’s “Bridesmaids.” Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, such a classic, such a crowd favorite. How about you, Dave?

DAVE BRIGGS: Well, I love anything with Meg Ryan. So when “Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” but if you count this, there’s no question “Love Actually” is the greatest romantic comedy of all time. You, Brad?

BRAD SMITH: “Twilight.” It’s hilarious to me, and there’s something romantic themes underlying as well. Allie is back. Allie, your favorite rom-com?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” I mean, that’s just kind of a classic, pinnacle romantic comedy. It got Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey. That movie, I would argue, made a star out of Matthew McConaughey. So that hands down, favorite rom-com.

DAVE BRIGGS: You’re so vain! I love that!

ALEXANDRA CANAL: My lover! You let it die!


BRAD SMITH: Absolutely. Allie Canal, Yahoo Finance’s entertainment reporter, thanks so much for the breakdown there. And I think we’re all hoping that rom-coms make a comeback.

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