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

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By Laura Berger | Women and Hollywood

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 Widowfeature. 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 MaleficentPenned 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 ($241,410,378)

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 Apes – 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 Return – 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)

1802014 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 Donaldson)

198. Hector and the Search for Happiness – 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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