'Sex and the City' hoping to whip Indiana Jones
This weekend's box-office battle between the year's top two films is firmly divided along gender lines. But can Carrie and co win the day?
Sunday 01 June 2008
They're not getting any younger and their love lives remain, at best, messy. But the girls of Sex and the City haven't lost their grip on the hearts, minds and handbags of America's women.
In a box-office battle that divides the nation neatly along gender lines, the eagerly awaited film is attempting to steal the crown – or rather battered fedora – from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the best-selling new release of the year so far, on its opening weekend.
The latest chapter in the lives of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha premiered in New York on Tuesday and opened across the country on Friday. Many of the 3,285 cinemas in which it is now being shown stayed open past midnight on Thursday in order to cater for fanatical fans wishing to witness the first public screening.
With most prime-time weekend screenings completely sold out in advance, industry experts estimated that the film will take between $25m (£12.6m) and $40m by the close of play tonight. "Advance sales have been nothing short of extraordinary for a female-driven comedy-drama," said Rick Butler of the online ticket retailer Fandango. "At the fast pace we've been going, we expect to sell out more than 1,000 show times before the weekend has even started."
Making up the lion's share of crowds are women who followed the TV series and have been starved of Sex and the City since 2004. Audiences at cinemas in Los Angeles last night were between 90 and 95 per cent female, with daytime crowds boosted by mothers taking their teenage daughters.
Many critics have given Sex and the City lukewarm reviews, with some complaining that, at two and a half hours, it is 30 minutes too long. Others have beefed that Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, spends too long in conversation with a new character – her assistant Louise – and not long enough in girly chats with her friends. Others have wondered whether it will compete with the latest Indiana Jones outing, which is expected to take up to $50m this weekend.
In some quarters, Sex and the City's failure to attract anyone but women and gay males to cinemas represents a social malaise. "For reasons that seem symptomatic of a much deeper problem, Sex and the City seems to have become the movie that no man wants to see or at least admit to wanting to see," said Carina Chocano, film critic of the LA Times.
Industry experts also wonder if the film will have the power to sustain its early viewing figures. "The show has been exposed on TV and built a following. So I would be surprised if they didn't have a good opening," said Jon Weisman of Variety, the Hollywood newspaper. "The question in the long term is: can it sustain it?"
But for now, at least, the sell-out crowds are lapping it up, applauding their favourite lines and crediting the nondescript character Charlotte with inventing a new catchphrase that embodies the spirit of girl power: "I curse the day you were born."
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Madonna Rebel Heart: Pharrell Williams collaboration and 13 more songs leaked
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever