Women directors are taking over multiplex screens — or, at the very least, playing on many more of them than usual. There’s actually a good chance, in fact, that there are more theater screens playing female-helmed films this weekend than ever before. While other women-directed films have opened on more individual screens on opening weekend, we think that this weekend’s aggregate is the highest when you add up what’s currently in release.
Few would argue that this is not a historically significant time for women directors. The media is finally starting to pay attention to the fact that female filmmakers get dramatically fewer opportunities than their male counterparts. The conversation has gone from headlines to the courts — legal action is being pursued, as the ACLU has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate whether Hollywood is engaging in discriminatory hiring practices that adversely affect women directors.
In 2014, only two women directors — Angelina Jolie (“Unbroken”) and Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) — cracked the list of the year’s top 100 grossing domestic films. But as of today, five women directors are behind the top 50 highest-earning films of 2015 so far: Elizabeth Banks (“Pitch Perfect 2”), Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”), Nancy Meyers (“The Intern”), Lana Wachowski (“Jupiter Ascending”) and Niki Caro (“McFarland, USA”).
The gender quake is real, and its reverberations are being felt throughout the industry. This weekend, be sure to check out a film directed by a woman to support the cause.
Here are the numbers of screens that these women-directed films will play on this weekend:
“Love the Coopers”- Jessie Nelson – 2,603
“The 33” – Patricia Riggen – 2,452
“By the Sea” – Angelina Jolie – 10
“Suffragette” – Sarah Gavron- 496
“Miss You Already” – Catherine Hardwicke – 311
And these are the female-helmed features that opened on more individual screens:
“Pitch Perfect 2” – Elizabeth Banks – 3,473
“Fifty Shades of Grey” – Sam Taylor-Johnson – 3,646
“Frozen” – Co-Directed by Jennifer Lee – 3,742
“Brave – Co-Directed by Brenda Chapman – 4,164
All figures courtesy of Box Office Mojo.