The first, in all its flaws and glory, was a phenomenon, coming together for a rather modest $65 million (modest when we're talking high fashion set in Manhattan), making $150 million domestically, and almost half a billion worldwide. The sequel upped the budget ($100 million) and gave the gals a lavish vacation, but the domestic gross didn't even surpass the budget, and with the foreign market included, made a more subdued $288 million.
We might say the second film failed because of its writing, performances, ethnocentrism, or use of the grotesque, but if you ask Mr. Big -- otherwise known as Chris Noth -- it is, in no way, their fault. It's the lousy critics. In fact, he says that the bad critical response to the film has killed the series, ending all chances of another crappy sequel.
Vulture caught up with Noth at a party, and the actor said the following about the 'Sex and the City' franchise:
"It's over. The franchise is dead. The press killed it. Your magazine f**king killed it. New York Magazine. It's like all the critics got together and said, 'This franchise must die.' Because they all had the exact same review. It's like they didn't see the movie. Got any more gum?" (Yes, he actually insulted them then asked for gum. C'mon gum companies -- give this guy an endorsement deal!)
Ah yes -- the global critic conspiracy. You know someone's grasping at straws when a sea of bad press leads to musings that critics dropped everything to come together and plan the demise of 'Sex and the City.' Sure, he had a right to be a bit irked with Vulture and New York Magazine ... Did you catch David Edelstein's review? He's the one that said cinematographer John Thomas brought out "the leatheriness" of Sarah Jessica Parker's skin. He also teamed up with series fan Emma Rosenblum to try and figure out "What Went So Horribly Wrong" with the film. Someone else could come in with praise, but the damage was done.
But Edelstein didn't act alone -- there's also the rest of the critics in this anti-SatC conspiracy. Roger Ebert called the women "flyweight bubbleheads." Our Jenni Miller wasn't thrilled. Lindy West not only equated the film to gay men playing with Barbies, but stated: "If this is what modern womanhood means, then just f**king veil me and sew up all my holes." If you're yearning to read even more negative reviews, head to Rotten Tomatoes and revel in a 15% fresh rating, down from the first film's moderate 49%.
Okay, okay, so sometimes critics are tougher on a film than the fans. It did, after all, earn almost $300 million worldwide. That's not a huge disaster. That same Tomatoes page states that 53% of regular moviegoers liked it. That's better. But wait. Moviefone readers say Skip it! Fans over at IMDb -- 14,058 of them -- voted, giving the film an average rating of 3.9 out of 10. That's not exactly fan love.
Though Noth points the finger at critics, perhaps -- crazy thought! -- the problem is the film itself. It seems that if most critics had "the exact same review," there's something truly wrong with the film. Or rather many things, which irked many people.
But at least a large number of people can rejoice. If Noth is right, we've been saved the torture of watching the franchise sink to new lows.