Fittingly, in a year when the “Me Too” movement allowed for women to come out from behind the shadows and be able to tell their stories, it seems that American movie-goers wanted to see more female-centric movies as well. In the domestic box office, for the first time since 1958 when, the top three films all have female leads. In 1958, the films were South Pacific, Auntie Mame, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. As you can see below, according to Box Office Mojo the three films in 2017 to top the U.S. box office were Wonder Woman (read our review here ), Beauty and the Beast, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi(read our review here).
The Gal Gadot starring behemoth that was Wonder Woman had the smallest opening weekend of the three, though word of mouth and excellent reviews helped carry it past $400 million. You don’t have to look too far to see her again, Gal Gadot also starred (though, didn’t lead) in Justice League which is ranked at number 11 with $225.6 million.
Emma Stone went back to her Harry Potter roots when it came to racking in the cash; the Disney adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, proved to be a bigger success than most anticipated. A lowly time for blockbusters, the early months of the year are at times a dumping ground for films that aren’t looking to haul in much, though a prime slot for a film such as this to make a big payday.
Fun fact, for the past three years in a row, the number one film when regarding domestic gross, has had a female lead AND has also been a Star Wars film (’15: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ’16: Rogue One, ’17: Star Wars: The Last Jedi). Daisy Ridley helped bring Disney another win, as Star Wars: The Last Jedi currently sits at $517.1 million. If it persists, the film could come close to breaking $600 million; though it will still surely come up short to Star Wars: The Force Awakens which ended its run with $936.6 million.
We can only hope 2018 will be just as progressive and give these incredible actresses the credit they deserve.
Source: The Wrap – “2017’s 3 Top-Grossing Movies Had Female Lead for First Time in Nearly 60 Years“