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The Case for Female Filmmakers in 2015: Breaking Down the Stats

The Case for Female Filmmakers in 2015: Breaking Down the Stats

There were nearly as many warrior women onscreen in 2015 as there were offscreen, mobilizing for more female representation behind the camera.

Among the former: Think Scarlett Johansson and Elizabeth Olsen as Black Widow and Scarlet Witch in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” And Daisy Ridley as the nimble Rey in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2,” Shailene Woodley as Tris in “Insurgent,” and Charlize Theron, most righteous among the righteous ass-kickers, as Furiosa in “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Lest we forget, there were also Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter as the real-world flamethrowers in “Suffragette.”   

Among the latter: The many filmmakers, actresses, academics, reporters and bloggers speaking out about the pitifully low percentage of women working behind the camera and on the screenplays. It was these women who got the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate Hollywood employment practices.

So, in 2015, how do the preliminary numbers stack up? As of December 15, the figures for this year look pretty much the same as last, which looked pretty much the same as the 23 years prior. There are more female-directed films in the Top 100 at the box office (6.5%). Overall, though, the number of female filmmakers in the top 250 top box-office films stands at 9.1%, 2 % more than last year but the same percentage as 1998, according to the indispensable Martha Lauzen of San Diego State University. Here is the list. Tell us your thoughts.

READ MORE: Feds Launch ‘Historic’ Investigation of Gender Discrimination in Hollywood

Movie/Box Office Rank/Director*

1) “Pitch Perfect” #11, Elizabeth Banks
2) “50 Shades of Grey” #15, Sam Taylor-Johnson
3) “The Intern” #36, Nancy Meyers
4) “Jupiter Ascending”  #51, Lana Wachowski 1/2
5) “McFarland USA,” #54 Niki Caro
6) “Hot Pursuit” #63, Anne Fletcher
7) “Love the Coopers” #82, Jessie Nelson
8) “The 33” #111, Patricia Riggen
9) “Suffragette” #135, Sarah Gavron
10) “Learning to Drive” #145, Isabel Coixet
11) “Dil Dhadakne Do” #148 Zoya Akhtar
12) “Meru” #159 , Elizabeth Chai Vasarheyl ½
13) “Meet the Patels” #172, Geeta Patel ½
14) “Diary of a Teenage Girl” #174 Marielle Heller
15) “Infinitely Polar Bear” #178, Maya Forbes
16) “The Wolfpack” #185, Crystal Moselle
17) “Goodnight Mommy” #192,   Veronika Franz ½
18) “Miss You Already” #194, Catherine Hardwicke
19) “Big Stone Gap” #201, Adriana Trigani
20) “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” #202,  Ronit Elkabetz ½
21) “Sleepiing With Other People” #207, Leslye Headland
22) “Welcome to Me” #223, Shira Piven
23) “By the Sea” #229, Angelina Jolie
24) “Somewhere Only We Know” #237, Jinglei Xu
25) “Rosenwald” #246, Aviva Kempner

* Five films were co-directed by a male and a female. In these cases, the “1/2” appears after the director’s name.

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