2017's top three movies had female leads for first time in decades

Ben Arnold

The top three movies of 2017 in the US all boasted female leads, a stat not seen in box office history for decades.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Wonder Woman topped the US box office for the year, and all featured women as their main characters.

Daisy Ridley, Emma Watson and Gal Gadot should take a bow – it’s the first time that female leads have topped the box office in the top three movies for 59 years.

It happened previously in 1958, with Mitzi Gaynor in South Pacific, Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame and Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The news comes in spite of the sexual harassment scandal that’s engulfed Hollywood, with incidents of abuse emerging dating back decades.

Scores of high profile women in the entertainment business came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, many adopting the #metoo hashtag on social media, with the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, and Louis CK being accused of misconduct.

Yesterday, a coordinated campaign called Time’s Up was launched, backed by 300 female actors, agents, writers, and producers in Hollywood, among them Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep and Emma Stone.

As well as supporting women coming forward with allegations of abuse, it also promised to help provide legal funding and advocate for legislation to stop workplace harassment.

An open letter in the New York Times read: “We particularly want to lift up the voices, power and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation.

“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.”

Read more
Hollywood women launch anti-harassment group
Solo: Everything we know so far
Gal Gadot is the highest-grossing actress of 2017