Filmmakers including Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, and Anna Boden helped propel female-directed movies to record-breaking levels in 2019.
Out of the 100 highest-grossing movies of the year, 10.6 per cent of them were directed by female filmmakers, a jump from just 4.5 per cent in 2018, according to the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, reported Variety.
Movies including Gerwig’s Little Women, Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers, animated sequel Frozen 2, which was co-directed by Lee and Chris Buck, and Captain Marvel, which was helmed by Boden and Ryan Fleck, all scored box office hits.
Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, Melina Matsoukas’s Queen & Slim and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell were also among 2019’s most popular female-directed flicks.
“It illuminates where we’re seeing traction and where there’s room for improvement,” said one of the study’s authors, Stacy L. Smith. “Universal under (studio chief) Donna Langley should be lauded for ensuring that women get opportunities.”
Smith also predicted that 2020 will be even better, with female directors being handed the reins of big superhero movies such as Birds of Prey, Eternals, Black Widow, and Wonder Woman 1984 as well as the Disney live-action remake of Mulan.
“2020 will be an extraordinary year for female directors,” she added. “That’s important, because we’re seeing women being given opportunities to direct action movies and not just smaller, independent films… Progress will come when females are given the opportunity to carry movies behind the camera across genres and budget ranges.”
The study comes weeks after the 2020 Golden Globe nominees were announced, sparking outrage that the Best Director category featured all-male candidates once again.
The prize, which will be handed out on Sunday, will be between Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Quentin Tarantino, 1917’s Sam Mendes, Joker’s Todd Phillips, Bong Joon-Ho for Parasite, and Martin Scorsese for The Irishman.
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