The three most popular movies of 2017 in North America were all fronted by women for the first time since 1958, it has been revealed.
After spending the majority of the year as the top grossing film in the US, Beauty & The Beast was eventually beaten by Star Wars: The Last Jedi on New Years Eve, according to studio estimates.
The third place was taken by Wonder Woman, which grossed over $400 million at the Box Office.
It’s the first time that the top three films were fronted by women since 1958, when South Pacific, Auntie Mame, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof were the most popular American movies.
Along with a lead role for Rey (Daisy Ridley), Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been praised for strong female characterisation throughout – with particular commendation being received by the integral role played by Leia Organa, the final big screen turn by the late Carrie Fisher.
Similar praise was also dished out to Vice-Admiral Holdo, the no-nonsense leader played by Laura Dern.
At the time of writing, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has taken over $533 million at the US Box Office.
Meanwhile, Beauty & The Beast took $504m and starred Emma Watson as Belle, the empowered young heroine who falls for a monster who was once a handsome prince.
Wonder Woman also took $412 million at the US Box Office and was praised for Gal Gadot’s all-conquering take on the iconic DC Comics character.
“She’s not there to serve someone else. She has so many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day she’s a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence’, Gadot previously said of the character.
“She’s loving – that’s her strength. I think women are amazing for being able to show what they feel. I admire women who do. I think it’s a mistake when women cover their emotions to look tough. I say let’s own who we are and use it as a strength.”