The figures have been worked out, and it is true; the three biggest domestic box-office successes of 2017 were all led by women.
Hollywood had a tough year. Various high-profile scandals have unearthed the sexism and misogyny which till now was under wraps. However, 2017 has also been a year to rejoice. It saw several mega box-office hits which shattered the glass ceiling for women. The leader of the pack is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The film has so far earned $533 million at the domestic box office. It is followed by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast ($504 million) and last, but, not the least by Wonder Woman ($412 million).
While The Last Jedi also featured the iconic character of Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill, but, the real star of the film was Daisy Ridley’s Rey. The film also gave fans an opportunity to bid adieu to the most iconic female actress of the franchise. Carrie Fisher had sadly passed away after wrapping up The Last Jedi’s filming, and her climactic scenes are very sentimental. The Last Jedi received a divided response as it was praised by critics, but, has a poor Rotten Tomatoes audience score of just 50%. That has however not impacted its performance at the box office, and the movie has already earned over $1 billion all over the world.
The second place Disney movie is the live-action remake of the iconic Beauty and the Beast. Emma Watson plays the role of Belle, and she won audiences globally. The film had an amazing soundtrack, with superb original songs and a vocal rendition by Celine Dion.
There is another reason which makes The Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast different from the others. Both earned over $1billion globally, and became members of an exclusive club, with only 32 Hollywood movies having achieved this feat so far. Out of the 32, just ten have been led by a female or have both male and female lead characters. Half of those movies happen to be Disney films, and the others are Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Finding Dory and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Wonder Woman got the third place, but, it is not inferior by any means. The film had a woman lead, Gal Gadot who played Wonder Woman, and it was also helmed by a lady director, Patty Jenkins. The film quickly created the record for the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman and is now officially the highest-earning Superhero origin film in the history. It is also the highest earning DCEU movie domestically. While Jenkins received a salary of just $1 million for the movie, she has now signed on for the sequel in a landmark deal which will get her $7 to $9 million, besides a sizeable chunk of the back end earnings. Jenkins has also shattered the glass ceiling for female movie makers.