Cult director Nick Refn ("Valhalla Rising," "Bronson") stopped in Philly recently to talk about "Drive," his new Ryan Gosling thriller.
I asked him about my theory that Hollywood, in its pursuit of the male demo 18-35, seems to be ignoring an apparent goldmine -- movies that have an all-ages appeal to women. He said it rings true, based on his personal experience. One of the first projects he pitched to Hollywood, he said, was a movie built around a female character -- he was told it wouldn't get funded, because it wouldn't make money.
That industry position gets harder to argue when you have a movie like "The Help" clobbering all comers at the box office, as it continues to do. Second straight week at number one, nearing $100 million, made for a reported $25 million. Compare than, say, to the new "Conan," dying an awful death, a movie that cost $16 million and will be lucky to make $20 million.
Low-budgets, large returns, robust week-to-week audiences -- the phenomenon we've seen with "Blind Side" and "Bridesmaids." Refn said he'd throw in "Black Swan," which topped $100 million.