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Whip It: Angry Women Make Potent Box Office

by Anne Thompson
July 13, 2009 8:09 AM
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Whipitx

On its surface, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It looks like a Fast & Furious-style look at an exotic world we don't know much about: roller derbies. The film opens in October and stars Barrymore and Juno star Ellen Page as a rebellious, angry teen roller derby contestant.

What every studio wants is a movie with at least one guaranteed target market, plus crossover potential to two or three more quadrants. This movie got made because of its potential appeal to several niches. It's a coming-of-age teen story with some romance, but it's also an action movie with babes attached (think Charlie's Angels, Blue Crush). Some men might even show up.

Mainly, it's an angry woman movie.

And that can be a mighty demo. Hollywood is often taken aback by how well femme bonding movies can do, pictures like Nine to Five, Fatal Attraction, Thelma & Louise, First Wives Club and Waiting to Exhale. Add Diablo Cody's upcoming Jennifer's Body to the list. Not that any of us identify with Jennifer Megan Fox. That's why Amanda Seyfried is in the picture.

UPDATE: Here's the Whip It trailer:


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More: Box Office, In Production, Summer

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