Women top the 2017 box office
It has been quite a year for women in show business. I'm not just talking about the whole Harvey Weinstein scandal and the fallout from it, I'm also talking about box office numbers and the dominance that women have had this year financially. For the first time in almost sixty years, the top three films of the year all have female leads; and that's no accident.
The third highest grossing film of the year is Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot laid that groundwork during last years Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where she basically stole the show in her on-screen debut as the character. Not only that, but the choice of director Patty Jenkins also helped to elevate the film and women's standing as action directors. It showed that women can be leaders in the forefront and behind the scenes. Not only is Wonder Woman a hit on the screen, but having her in two films this year, Justice League, made Gal Gadot the highest grossing actress of 2017 and third of all actors this year.
The second highest grossing film of the year is Beauty and the Beast. Now, while its lead Emma Watson has had her own string of successes following the Harry Potter franchise, it has been Disney that made this film the success it has been. It helps that it's based off a Disney classic (and the only hand drawn animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture). Not only that, but the recent sting of live action re-imaginings have been a successful gamble for the past 8 years. Casting Emma Watson was the perfect choice as she beautifully brought to life the character Belle.
The highest grossing film of the year came at the end, and it none other than Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Daisy Ridley leads the newest Star Wars cast as Rey, Jedi in training, and she's coming off of a strong performance in Murder on the Orient Express which came out earlier this year. But let's be real, everyone knew Star Wars would be a hit and the fact that it's being led by Daisy Ridley is not a coincidence. She has proven to be a strong female lead that is clearly following the footsteps of Carrie Fisher, another strong woman in the Star Wars universe. She has taken up the mantle of Jedi and as a result, given plenty of little girls in the world that they can be strong, independent women.
2017 has been a strong year for women both on and off the screen. The top 3 films have made a combined $1.44B domestic gross and it will only get bigger as Star Wars stays in theaters throughout the next couple of months. Hopefully, we won't have to wait another 60 years for women to top the box office, but it is great to see that Hollywood is not afraid to cast female leads. If anything has come from the past year, it's that women can star in big box office hits and bring in the crowds.