in hindsight, “Girls Trip” couldn’t fail. Just pile powerhouse African-American actresses into a roadtrip/friendship comedy and shake vigorously. Everyone knew it would be one of the year’s top comedies and rake in $114.5 million in domestic box office. Right?
Wrong. “There was a lot of concern about how women open a movie, how do African-American women open a movie, how do African-American women of a certain age open a movie,” says Hall, who co-starred with Pinkett-Smith, Latifah and Haddish, among others, in the Universal film.
Of course, once the numbers started rolling in, she adds, everything changed. “I think it’s made studios wonder, ‘Are we forgetting our women?’”
That’s a familiar question. Oliver, who co-wrote “Girls Trip” with “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, says when she came out of film school a few years ago, “the landscape was pretty bleak for movies starring women of color.
“I was often advised to stop writing movies that featured diverse characters if I wanted to make a living in this business,” she adds. But “Trip’s” success has already opened doors for her. “Now I have something to point to. We can pitch bigger ideas than that.”
Haddish remains well aware of the effect the film is having, not just on her career but in Hollywood in general. “I know we all had an impact on the box office this year, and that makes me really happy,” she says. “You can achieve anything, just as long as you put in the work.”
As for what’s next, the actresses all have projects in the works, while Oliver is working on a romantic comedy. But what about “Girls Trip 2”?
“If all the pieces come together, it’d be great to do it again,” says Hall. “We had a ball.”