Top 3 Films at Box Office Have Female Leads For First Time Since 1958

female women box office 2017 beauty beast wonder woman star wars last jedi

In 1958, the top film of the year was “South Pacific,” the film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical which starred Mitzi Gaynor as a nurse stationed overseas during World War II. In second was the comedy “Auntie Mame,” which starred Rosalind Russell as the titular Manhattan socialite who takes her orphaned nephew into her whirlwind life. In third was the adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” starring Elizabeth Taylor in the lead role as Maggie “The Cat” Pollitt.
  1. South Pacific
  2. Auntie Mame
  3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

In the midst of the ongoing #MeToo movement currently happening in the industry, we tend to forget that 2017 was clearly the year of the woman in Hollywood. What with Greta Gerwig‘s much critically acclaimed “Lady Bird” becoming the toast of the town and the Best Actress field for next year’s Oscars over-crowded with contenders. Things have surely gotten better, at least for the time being because, who knows, Hollywood is known for patting itself on the back and then moving on to business as usual. But something feels different this time around, an air of change has come upon us and not just in art-house, awards contenders.
The top 3 highest earners at the 2017 box office — “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Wonder Woman” — all share one thing in common: they are all female-driven movies. Yes, for the first time since 1958, the top 3 highest-earning films at the box-office have female leads. This is no doubt a fitting response to a year which had Hollywood rocked by powerful men being accused of sexual misbehavior towards women and feels like sweet justice for, cross your fingers, what’s ahead in an industry whose history has been filled with male chauvinism for far too long.
Want to know how impressive this feat is? The last time the top three box-office films were led by women was in 1958, when “South Pacific,” “Auntie Mame,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” were the highest earners of that given year.