Drew Barrymore‘s directorial debut, Whip It, has all the makings of a blockbuster hit. First, there’s the whole Drew Barrymore directorial debut thing. And, it stars Barrymore, Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis, Ari Graynor and Zoe Bell.
It’s about hot, bad-ass roller derby girls. And, of then there was the Marie Claire photo shoot involving some Barrymore/Page straddling and lick-locking. Unfortunately, however, there was no actual romantic girl-on-girl action in the film, which Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) tells New York Magazine she was bummed about.
When the interviewer points out the fact that the “very open lesbianism in the real derby world is kind of soft-pedaled in the film,” Graynor, who plays derby captain Eva Destruction, says:
I was pushing for Eva to be a lesbian seductress, hitting on all the girls. I tried to push the envelope a little on stuff that didn’t end up in the film.
But despite that, it seems as though people would rush to the theaters this past weekend, when it opened, in droves, right?
You’d think. But sadly, that’s not what happened. In fact, it only brought in about $4.9 million over the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. Shocking! Where were you people? I mean, Ellen Page! Juliette Lewis’ first film in four years! Roller derby! Girls!
While the box office numbers don’t seem to live up to the excitement, Whip It has churned up over the last year, NPR’s Linda Holmes reminds us to not count the film out (and you know, get off your butts and go see it). She says:
Not that many people made it out to see it on opening weekend, but the people who love this movie are going to love it. It’s not a movie like The Proposal, where you watch it and it’s fun and then you forget all about it. I like to think it’s going to live on cable and on DVD and at slumber parties, and even before it leaves theaters, it may make a few more bucks on word of mouth.
And just think, maybe if Barrymore listened to Graynor and included some lesbians, it could have done better. Just look what Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried‘s kiss in Jennifer’s Body did — that film earned almost $7 million its opening weekend. Not as much as Zombieland, but still a stronger showing than Whip It.
Did you go see the film in its opening weekend?