KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
For Hollywood, 2017 was not a great year for the box office. But there was one interesting thing - in 2017, movies led by women took the top three spots for the highest-grossing movies in the U.S. and Canada. No. 1, "Star Wars."
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MCEVERS: "The Last Jedi" had four leading ladies, including young Rey trying to find her way with the force.
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DAISY RIDLEY: (As Rey) I need someone to show me my place in all this.
MCEVERS: The No. 2 movie was the live-action remake of "Beauty And The Beast" starring Emma Watson as Belle, another woman looking for something more exciting.
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EMMA WATSON: (As Belle, singing) There goes the baker with his tray like always...
MCEVERS: And rounding out the top three Gal Godot as Wonder Woman.
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GAL GADOT: (As Diana) If no one else will defend the world then I must.
MCEVERS: This is the first time since 1958 that so many movies led by women topped the box office in a single year. That's according to Alicia Malone, a correspondent at Fandango.
ALICIA MALONE: Hollywood seems to have amnesia when it comes to the success of women. It's a surprise every time it happens, and then quickly it fades away and they continue with male-led movies.
MCEVERS: Women dominated not just the box office, but many of the Oscar contenders, too, movies like "Lady Bird"...
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SAOIRSE RONAN: (As Lady Bird McPherson) I want to go where culture is, like New York...
LAURIE METCALF: (As Marion McPherson) And how in the world did I raise such a snob?
RONAN: (As Lady Bird McPherson) ...Or at least Connecticut or New Hampshire.
MCEVERS: ..."The Shape Of Water"...
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OCTAVIA SPENCER: (As Zelda Fuller) I answer mostly on account of she can't talk. Mute, sir.
MCEVERS: ...And "The Post."
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MERYL STREEP: (As Kay Graham) We can't hold them accountable if we don't have a newspaper.
MCEVERS: Alicia Malone of Fandango says all these leading women driving ticket sales and critical success, this was not a coincidence.
MALONE: This shows that audiences are really hungry for seeing women in the lead roles. And I hope that Hollywood listens and this becomes more of a trend and we see more opportunities for women in the future.
MCEVERS: Malone says the future could be as soon as this year with movies like "Ocean's 8" and "A Wrinkle In Time" in the pipeline. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.