Number of Female Directors in Top Hollywood Movies Down From 2020


Even if 2021 has some major female -directed films, the number of female directors in the top 250 Hollywood films has decreased from 2020.

the Celluloid ceiling The report for 2021 shows that the number of female directors in leading films of the year has decreased from 2020. 2020 sees female filmmakers directing projects in every area of ​​the industry, from pieces during literature such as Autumn de Wilde’s Emma in terrifying thrillers like Floria Sigismondi The Turning in the big-budget superhero scene like Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey (and the Extraordinary Freedom of a Harley Quinn). The year ended with the 2021 Academy Awards ceremony, where Chloé Zhao was presented with an Oscar for Best Director with Nomadland, became the second woman to win the award.

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Despite the decline, 2021 saw some high-profile films directed by women. Awesome reboot human candy, which became the #20 domestic film of the year, directed by Nia DaCosta, who is currently directing the future Captain Marvel CONNECT The Wonders, arrives in 2022. She is also the first Black woman to direct a film to reach #1. Two of the four Phase 4 entries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are also directed by women: Black Widow directed by Cate Shortland and Eternals directed by the adorned Chloé Zhao (though he did Eternals before his Oscar win).

Related: Why Chloe Zhao Is Credited as Writer of Eternals Twice


Per different, Celluloid Ceiling reports that the number of women directed films in the box office top 250 has dropped from 18% to 17%. If the coverage is small in the top 100 films, the change is even more severe, falling from 16% to 12%. However, in brighter news, if production roles such as writers, executive producer, producer, editor, and cinematographer are added to the tally, it will increase slightly, up to 25% from 2020’s 23%.


Nia DaCosta and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on the Set of Candyman

There are two important factors that complicate this data. First, when measuring the top 100 movies at the box office, that doesn’t include streaming features from platforms like Netflix, which have a slightly higher rate of female directors. For example, this year’s major awards contender, by Jane Campion The Power of the Dog, is not in the top 250 because it is a Netflix movie and has only received limited theatrical release.


Second, 2020 may have been a good year for female directors, but the pandemic dramatically changed the shape of the box office top 100 that year. Many upcoming big-budget blockbusters are delayed until 2021 or later, so the films that occupy the top 250 are measured by Celluloid ceiling very different look in other years. Now that the charts are once again filled with big budget tentpoles, this drop likely reflects the fact that studios still can’t resist women leading the big blockbusters. That’s obviously something the organization is trying to innovate, but it’s likely to eventually be in line with past years rather than getting worse.


Next: The Secret Meaning of Nomadland and How It Was Shaped by Chloe Zhao’s Asian Experience

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