“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” starring Tina Fey, opens on 2,300 screens this weekend. The sheer amount of studio money behind the comedian’s latest project is exciting. Paramount is pushing the war reporter comedy hard. The studio’s splurge on TV advertising for the Fey vehicle tops Variety’s survey of movie commercial spending for the week, amounting to an estimated five million dollars worth of airtime across 30 networks. To put that in perspective, that’s more than even Disney is currently pumping into their ad campaign for animal caper “Zootopia.”
The promotional fanfare around the film is particularly pleasing in the light of recent comments made by Fey herself, highlighting the lack of opportunities and respect — which, in studio terms, so often equates to money — being afforded women in comedy. Doing the rounds of the press in the run-up to the film’s release, Fey told Town & Country magazine how annoyed she had been getting when interviewers tried to tell her and “Sisters” co-star Amy Poehler that “this is an amazing time for women in comedy.” “People really wanted us to be openly grateful — ‘Thank you so much!’ — and we were like, ‘No, it’s a terrible time,'” she explained. “If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.”
We loved “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” here at Women and Hollywood, precisely because its protagonist Kim shows exactly that kind of no-nonsense attitude (the film is loosely based on journalist Kim Barker’s real-life experiences as a war reporter). She may have impulsively signed up to go to Afghanistan while in the throes of a mid-life crisis, but Kim soon gets down to business and adapts herself to the challenge — with hilarious, but surprisingly moving results.
Catch “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” in cinemas starting today.