Posted by: Dana Kelly | May 16, 2011

Gender stigmas in Hollywood

This weekend, I did something that I very rarely do. I went to the movies. Going to a movie theater, buying a $9 dollar ticket, and battling opening day crowds has become inferior to Netflix in the comfort of my bed, but this weekend I decided it was time to see a movie in the public sphere. I saw “Bridesmaids,” starring Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph and a slew of comedic characters, and I must admit, I was very pleasantly surprised! Not only was there witty banter and girl humor, the movie’s branding was unparalleled. The slogan on the poster reads “Chick Flicks Don’t Have To Suck!” and it is marketed as the female version of “The Hangover.” I found this particularly interesting because I was able to see the way the movie was targeting men as well as women. By denouncing it as a stereotypical chick flick, the movie makes a commentary on women’s role in Hollywood and the stigmas attached to female comedians. One article even suggests that seeing “Bridesmaids” is a social responsibility because it addresses the oppression women have been exposed to in the entertainment industry. Another online blog analyzes the different ways that the movie was marketed in order to capture a larger male audience.

In the grand scheme of things I think that I am learning to appreciate the ways that communicators strategically formulate their messages before launching them into the public domain. Producers knew that this movie needed to tap into several audience demographics in order to be a competitor in the box office, and as a result, the movie was branded as a “movie for everyone.” As a result, the film debuted at 2nd in the box office and brought in $24.4 million on the fist weekend. Do you think this success could have been attained if the movie had just targeted a large female demographic? What do you think worked for this branding? Here is a preview of the film to help you decide.


  1. I’ve been seeing previews for this movie on TV recently and I must say I was skeptical at first to say the least. I thought it would end up being a sad desperate attempt for these women to be the next “Hangover.” I still haven’t seen the movie yet but after reading numerous reviews online and noticing how it has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m very intrigued. I think having females comedians is a rare commodity to begin with, and it’s very tough to break in to that field and actually be good at it, not to mention getting men to take you seriously. I have to commend this film for doing a great job branding themselves in this manner by having these women take a stand to something that isn’t generally accepted. I hope to see this movie soon so I can really give my personal movie review, until then kudos to the female comedians!

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