There’s an embarrassment of queer- and female-centric riches at the box office this weekend.
The Spy Who Dumped Me, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and The Darkest Minds all feature out actresses and female directors. But unless fans of supporting diversity on the big screen by attending opening weekend intend to see them, all three could wind up getting short-changed.
“It is almost cruel that both of these films, the only two big studio releases this summer with female directors, are opening on the same day,” wrote Forbes’s Scott Mendelson about the two films in wide release — The Spy Who Dumped Me and The Darkest Minds.
Just this week, USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative released the results of a study that tracked the top 100 box office draws each year from 2007-2017 and found little to no improvement in the representation of women and LGBTQ people in a decade. So to have a trifecta of films directed by women and starring or featuring queer women is unprecedented.
But, as Forbes pointed out, the films aren’t only competing against each other for box office dollars, but with proven dude-driven fare like Mission: Impossible — Fallout.
For those looking to beat the heat and laugh, Kate McKinnon, who is a lesbian, stars with Mila Kunis in the raucous spy/comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me from director Susanna Fogel. Meanwhile, the YA fantasy flick The Darkest Minds stars Amandla Stenberg, a woman of color who recently came out as gay. Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who is Asian American, helmed the big-screen adaptation.
Finally, Desiree Akhavan, the Iranian-American writer/star/director of 2014’s Appropriate Behavior, directed the adaptation of Emily M. Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which stars Chloë Grace Moretz and costars American Honey’s Sasha Lane, who is a bisexual woman of color.
The demand for stories by, about, and starring women, LGBTQ people, and people of color have been ongoing for years, so it’s strange that they’ve piled up on top of each other for one weekend. Or maybe it’s a good sign of things to come.