Only twenty films have grossed more than $1 billion dollars through their global theatrical runs, with “Furious 7” being the most recent addition to that list, taking only 17 days to race its way there. Fortunately — and perhaps unexpectedly, given how few high-profile and big-budget female-driven and-directed projects are greenlit in the first place, a few films by and about women are among those to have achieved this incredible feat.
One film helmed by a woman appears on the list: “Frozen” ($1.27 billion) which was co-directed and co-written by Jennifer Lee. Joining Lee’s tale of sisterly love are two other women-centric films: “Titanic” ($2.18 billion) and “Alice in Wonderland” ($1.02 billion), the latter of which was written by Linda Woolverton.
We are heartened by the presence of a woman director and female-centric movies in the billion-dollar club. That being said, most of the titles to have crossed the $1 billion benchmark are movies by men and about men. It’s important to recognize why films by and about women are underrepresented in the billion-dollar club: female directors and movies featuring female protagonists aren’t usually given blockbuster budgets despite the fact that female-led films make more money. Only four women have directed or co-directed a film with a budget of over $100 million, and all are all them were animated films (“Frozen,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Brave,” “Shark Tale”).
We’re hopeful that the sequels for “Alice” and “Frozen,” the former due in May 2016 and the latter’s release date TBD, will follow in the lucrative footsteps of their predecessors and make their way into the exclusive club. We’re also eyeing “Inside Out,” one of our most anticipated films of 2015, as another potential addition to the billion-dollar club.