For The First Time Since 1958, The Top Three Highest-Grossing Films Of the Year Starred Women

by Lydia Wang


Last year was defined by the reckoning and exposure of powerful men in Hollywood — and, let’s face it, everywhere. From the women (and some men, too) who took down former hotshots like Harvey Weinstein and Dustin Hoffman, to new updates on Ava DuVernay’s upcoming adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, to Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, 2017 was all about the power of women. And now that the top grossing films of 2017 can be totaled, it’s clear that it was also the year of women on the big screen, too.

The top three domestic grosses, according to data compiled by Box Office Mojo, went to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, and Wonder Woman. All three movies starred women, and dynamic female characters at that. Though this may not seem like a huge deal, it actually is the first time this has happened in almost 60 years, when South Pacific, Auntie Mame, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ruled the box office list in 1958.

The Last Jedi, the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, earned $531.5 million, and is still in theaters. The film stars Daisy Ridley as Rey and Carrie Fisher (RIP) as Leia. Its release beat Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle and bringing in $504 million, for the number one slot. Finally, coming in at number three with $412.5 million was DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, which starred Gal Gadot and was directed by Patty Jenkins. Also worth celebrating was 2017’s top comedy, Girls Trip, fronted by Jada Pinkett Smith , Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall.

In an interview with the Guardian, media analyst Paul Dergarabedian of comScore said, “If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that women wield enormous clout at the box office and also a lot behind the camera. Hopefully one day, this will not have to be something that is revelatory.”

Top photo via Star Wars: The Last Jedi / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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