“Cinderella,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Insurgent” have cemented 2015 as the “Year of Women,” according to National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) chief John Fithian. In his state-of-the-industry speech at CinemaCon, Fithian told theater owners that while women bought half of all movie tickets in 2014, they got only 12 percent of the leading roles. But he said things are improving in 2015 as “women get a little more of the limelight,” The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Referring to the three blockbuster hits listed above, Fithian said that “three successful movies so far this year had women in leading roles and sold 60% or more tickets to women. And we have so much more to come, with big female roles in horror, comedy, science-fiction, animation, family, western, thriller and action. Personally, I am so pleased that my daughter can see more women in leading roles than ever before.”
Thanks, in part, to these female-powered hits, Fithian predicted this would be the biggest year in history at the worldwide box office.
Though he didn’t address the controversial issues of windowing (and theater owners declining to screen films which are released “date and date”), Fithian vaguely acknowledged the issue. “Though one-off and radical simultaneous release experiments garner some media attention, the reality is that major distributors believe that theatrical exclusivity drives the entire business,” he said.