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Women Wrote 17% of 2014’s Top 250 Grossing Films

Women Wrote 17% of 2014's Top 250 Grossing Films

On Wednesday, we revealed that women directed only 17 of last year’s top 250 grossing films — a depressing 6.8%

Fortunately, the number of female screenwriters who penned the scripts to 2014’s biggest commercial successes is considerably higher. Don’t get too excited, though: Of the 250 top-grossing films of last year, female screenwriters wrote, or co-wrote, just 43 of them, coming in at 17.2%. That’s an improvement from 2013, when women accounted for 10% of the writers working on the top 250 films. Of course, it is important to bear in mind that female screenwriters have less movies produced overall, and accordingly aren’t well-represented in lists such as these. 

2014’s biggest box office hit (as of today), Guardians of the Galaxy, was co-written by a woman: Nicole Perlman. Perlman previously worked as an uncredited script doctor on Thor and, according to IMDB, she’s working on the treatment for the much-anticipated and long-overdue Black Widow feature. We’re excited to see Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in the spotlight, especially because Perlman, a woman, will play an instrumental role in further fleshing out this character. 

The highest-grossing movie written by a woman and focusing on a female character in 2014 was Maleficent. Penned by Linda Woolverton, Maleficent offered an entirely new take on the “villainess” of Sleeping Beauty. As Woolverton acknowledged in an interview with Women and Hollywood, “It was very difficult to turn a villain into a hero and yet keep her a villain.” Audiences were obviously keen to witness this reinvention of the famed character: the Angelina Jolie vehicle made over $240 million dollars in theaters, making it the 6th highest-grossing movie of 2014.

1.  Guardians of the Galaxy – Co-Written by Nicole
Perlman ($333,055,258)

6.  Maleficent – Written by Linda Woolverton

8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the
Five Armies
– Co-Written by Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh ($225,764,000)

10. Dawn of the Planet of the
– Co-Written by Amanda Silver ($208,545,589)

17. Gone Girl – Written by
Gillian Flynn ($166,836,404)

18. Divergent – Co-Written by
Vanessa Taylor ($150,947,895)

21. Rio 2 – Co-Written by Jenny
Bicks ($131,538,435)

37. Tammy – Co-Written by Melissa
McCarthy ($84,525,432)

39. The Other Woman – Written by
Melissa Stack ($83,911,193)

43. Annie – Co-Written by Aline
Brosh McKenna ($73,710,989)

58. No Good Deed – Written by
Aimee Lagos ($52,543,632)

60. Ouija – Co-Written by Juliet
Snowden ($50,856,010)

61. The Boxtrolls – Co-Written by
Irena Brignull ($50,628,602)

63. If I Stay – Written by Shauna
Cross ($50,474,843)

65. About Last Night – Written by
Leslye Headland ($48,637,684)

69. Blended – Co-Written by Clare
Sera ($46,294,610)

76. The Expendables 3
Co-Written by Katrin Benedikt ($39,322,544)

78. Sex Tape – Co-Written by Kate
Angelo ($38,543,473)

101. Endless Love – Co-Written by
Shana Feste ($23,438,250)

102. Pompeii – Co-Written by
Janet Scott Batchler ($23,219,748)

109. Addicted – Co-Written by
Christina Welsh ($17,390,770)

114. Devil’s Due – Written by
Lindsay Devlin ($15,821,461)

117. Beyond the Lights – Written
by Gina Prince-Bythewood ($14,567,906)

123. Belle – Written by Misan
Sagay ($10,726,630)

132. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s
– Co-Written by Randi Barnes ($8,462,027)

149. Ida – Co-Written by Rebecca
Lenkiewicz ($3,702,612)

155. Veronica Mars – Co-Written
by Diane Ruggiero ($3,322,127)

158. Obvious Child – Written by
Gillian Robespierre ($3,123,963)

163. The Good Lie – Written by
Margaret Nagle ($2,719,374)

180. 2014 Oscar Nominated Shorts – Co-Written by Lauren MacMullan,
Nancy Kruse, and Julia Donaldson ($2,171,849) (Get a Horse – Co-Written by
Lauren MacMullan and Nancy Kruse; Room on the Broom – Co-Written by Julia

198. Hector and the Search for
– Co-Written by Maria von Heland and Tinker Lindsay ($1,124,445)

201. Laggies – Written by Andrea
Seigel ($1,066,981)

202. 50 to 1 – Co-Written by
Faith Conroy ($1,064,454)

211. Shaadi Ke Side Effects
Co-Written by Zeenat Lakhani ($921,277)

220. Palo Alto – Written by Gia
Coppola ($767,732)

221. The Babadook – Written by
Jennifer Kent ($742,092)

223. Land Ho! – Co-Written by
Martha Stephens ($727,594)

224. Yves Saint Laurent
Co-Written by Marie-Pierre Huster ($723,593)

225. Khoobsurat – Written by
Indira Bisht ($710,508)

227. Men, Women & Children
Co-Written by Erin Cressida Wilson ($705,908)

228. Frankie & Alice
Co-Written by Cheryl Edwards, Mary King, and Anna Waterhouse ($695,876)

245. Tracks – Written by Marion
Nelson ($510,007)   

250. But Always (Yi Sheng Yi Shi)
– Written by Snow Zou ($430,760) 

[via Box Office Mojo as of January 8, 2015]

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