Friday, April 19, 2024

Saving Elizabeth Banks: Director’s “Cocaine Bear” Makes More in One Weekend than Her “Charlie’s Angels” Reboot Did in Total


Elizabeth Banks is back, and it couldn’t be nicer.

The smart, attractive actress turned director had big hits with the “Pitch Perfect” trilogy. (She produced the first one, produced and directed the second and third.)

Then came the “Charlie’s Angels” reboot in 2019. It was a total bomb. I can’t even remember who was in it. The flop made just $17.8 million in its total run, $55 million worldwide.

Suddenly, Banks the director was cold as ice. And that’s a total female director thing. Male directors can have flop after flop and keep coming back. But not women. It’s a one strike ballgame.

So now comes “Cocaine Bear.” With a $23 million opening weekend, the Bear made more in one weekend than “Charlie’s Angels” did in its whole run! Not only did this Bear resurrect Banks’s directing career, it did a lot of good for all the actors involved starting with the late Ray Liotta. It’s nice that he goes out in a hit. Plus, Alden Ehrenreich, who was unfairly treated when he starred as a young Han Solo, begins his rebound campaign.

And let’s not forget the bear himself. Last time we saw a bear he was viciously humping Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant.” No one liked him. Now he’s like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. See how you can turn things around in Hollywood?

Bravo to Elizabeth Banks! And if you want to see her act, stream a little gem called “Call Jane.” She’s terrific!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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