Women directed larger number of top-grossing movies in 2019 than ever before: report

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Women directed more of the highest-grossing movies of 2019 than any year in the past, according to a study from the University of Southern California.

A study released by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that female directors accounted for 10.6 percent of the directors behind the helm of the year’s 100 top-grossing films, working as directors in 12 of the movies overall, according to The Associated Press.

The previous high recorded by the study was just 8 percent in 2008, and the industry failed to see much improvement until last year. 2018 was a year of underrepresentation for the movie business, with female directors accounting for just 4.5 percent of those behind the 100 top-grossing films that year.

“This is the first time we have seen a shift in hiring practices for female film directors in 13 years,” co-author Stacy Smith told the AP. “One notable reason for this jump in 2019 was that Universal Pictures had five films with women directors at the helm in the top 100 movies. Yet there is still much more progress needed to reach parity for women behind the camera.”

Several family favorites were directed by women this year, including the Mr. Rogers biopic “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and the much-anticipated sequel to “Frozen,” “Frozen 2.”

“While 2019 is a banner year for women, we will not be able to say there is true change until all women have access and opportunity to work at this level,” Smith added.

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