Number Of Female-Led Films Dropped In 2017, Compared With Previous Year

Not good.

The number of films with women as their lead characters has fallen year on year, a new report has revealed.

Despite last year’s most popular films at the US box office, ‘Beauty And The Beast’, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and ‘Wonder Woman’, featuring female characters front and centre, The Center for the Study of Women in TV and Film has found that 2017 saw fewer female-led films than the year before.

<strong>Gal Gadot at the 'Wonder Woman' premiere in Mexico</strong>
Gal Gadot at the 'Wonder Woman' premiere in Mexico
Victor Chavez via Getty Images

The Center’s data, based on the top 100 highest-grossing films of the year, shows that just 24% of films had “sole female protagonists” in 2017, a 5% drop from the previous 12 months.

Of the 100 films looked at in the study, 58% were deemed to have a “sole male protagonist” (that’s considerably more than double the number for female protagonists), while the remaining 18% featured “ensemble” casts.

<strong>'Star Wars' actress Daisy Ridley</strong>
'Star Wars' actress Daisy Ridley
Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images

Year on year, there was a 2% increase in the amount of the speaking characters on screen that were women, though this figure still only went from 32% to 34%.

There was also an increase in the number of women of colour in film, though again, this is still a small figure, with just 30% of women with speaking roles being women of colour (broken down into 16% of black female characters, 7% Asian and 7% Latina).

What’s more, while only 32% of films featured more than 10 women with speaking roles, the figure for more than 10 men with speaking roles was more than double, at 79%.

Films released in the UK in 2018 with female protagonists have so far included the Oscar-nominated ‘I, Tonya’, ‘The Shape Of Water’ and ‘Lady Bird’.

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