Are women on the big screen box-office poison? That is what one Hollywood executive may have said.
The Web site Deadline Hollywood Daily claims Warner boss Jeff Robinov has issued a decree: "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead."
"The fact that he may have said it out loud to an agent was probably indiscreet and stupid, and you probably shouldn't cut yourself off from any genre or niche and say we're not doing that anymore," moviecitynews.com's editor, David Poland, told The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman.
L.A. Weekly writer Nikki Finke called Robinov a "Neanderthal." Warner Brothers has denied any such edict. But Jess Cagle, The Early Show entertainment contributor and People magazine managing editor, said, "There is a tremendous amount of sexism in Hollywood, just as there's a tremendous amount of sexism in our culture.
"I think that is one of the reasons why Hollywood just does not know how to make good movies about women for women," he told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
"But that was just a bad movie," Cagle said. "It wasn't because Nicole Kidman was in it. It was because it wasn't a good movie."
The same happened with Jodie Foster's "The Brave One." The two-time Oscar-winner's flick fell flat. Both were released by Warner Brothers.
"The Devil Wears Prada" took in $124 million in the United States alone. "Dreamgirls" was another hundred million dollar movie. And you couldn't do "The Queen" without a female in the lead. The film tallied $122 million worldwide.
Still, it's a bad year for women when the most successful female lead is a guy in drag.
"You look at someone like John Travolta, and that was his huge success and that was the best year he's had in many years now," Poland said.
There will most likely not be an official edict, but Cagle said that if a star like Kidman doesn't bring people to the movie theaters, then her price will begin to go down. He also said the future of the "chick flick" isn't bright simply because there are not many good ones.
" 'The Devil Wears Prada' last year did really well, but they're very hard to pull off," Cagle said. "It's hard to get young men to see those movies."