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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? 79 wide releases in UK in 2015 so far; only 22 have female protagonists

Time for a little mid-year check on the Where Are the Women? project, U.K. edition. (See here for the U.S. version. The numbers are almost identical.)

From January through the end of June, 2015, there have been 79 films that have had wide releases in the United Kingdom. (This list includes a few films that opened at the very end of December 2014 and so had the vast majority of their runs in 2015.) These films are, in rough order of release:

Unbroken
Birdman
The Theory of Everything
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death
Taken 3
Foxcatcher
Into the Woods
Testament of Youth
American Sniper
Whiplash
Wild
Ex Machina
The Gambler
Mortdecai
A Most Violent Year
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Big Hero 6
Inherent Vice
Son of a Gun
Trash
The Interview
Jupiter Ascending
Selma
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Fifty Shades of Grey
Project Almanac
Blackhat
The Wedding Ringer
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Boy Next Door
Focus
It Follows
Chappie
Still Alice
Unfinished Business
Suite Française
Run All Night
Home
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
The Gunman
Wild Card
Cinderella
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Get Hard
Seventh Son
Fast & Furious 7
The Water Diviner
While We’re Young
The DUFF
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
John Wick
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Woman in Gold
Child 44
A Little Chaos
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Far from the Madding Crowd
Unfriended
Two by Two (aka All Creature Big and Small)
The Age of Adaline
Big Game
Spooks: The Greater Good
Mad Max: Fury Road
Pitch Perfect 2
A Royal Night Out
Poltergeist
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
Moomins on the Riviera
Danny Collins
San Andreas
Man Up
Spy
Insidious: Chapter 3
Survivor
Jurassic World
Entourage
The Longest Ride
Mr. Holmes
Minions

How many of them have a female protagonist or an ensemble of protagonists that are all female? Twenty-two, or less than 28 percent. They are:

The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Spy
Still Alice
Survivor
Suite Française
Testament of Youth
Wild
Pitch Perfect 2
Insidious: Chapter 3
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Boy Next Door
A Little Chaos
A Royal Night Out
Far from the Madding Crowd
The Woman in Black: The Angel of Death
The Age of Adaline
The DUFF
It Follows
Man Up
Jupiter Ascending
Fifty Shades of Grey
Cinderella

(One thing that stands out about films with female protagonists? The male supporting characters tend to be far better written and far more interesting as characters than the female supporting characters in films with male protagonists.)

Twelve more movies had joint male and female protagonists or an ensemble that was reasonably gender balanced (15 percent), but we can’t count these for women without also counting them for men (who don’t need any help). They are:

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Woman in Gold
Into the Woods
Two by Two (aka All Creatures Big and Small)
Home
Unfriended
Poltergeist
Focus
A Most Violent Year
The Longest Ride
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
Child 44

The rest had male protagonists or an ensemble more weighted toward men. That’s 45 movies, or 57 percent. Add in the films with joint male-female protagonists, and that means that 72 percent of 2015’s movies so far feature men in central roles. It’s only 43 percent featuring women in central roles if we count the ones in which they share the story with men. However you cut it, men are disproportionately represented onscreen by a factor of almost 2 to 1.

To summarize: Women make up slightly more than half the population (51 percent) and 50 percent of the moviegoing public, but telling stories about women continues to not be a primary concern for Hollywood… or for the U.K. film industry.

This what it looks like:

WATWuk2015half

That pie should be a lot more balanced than it is.

(Please see the Where Are the Women? ranking to see how individual films fare in their representation of women. Some films with male protagonists do okay! Some films with female protagonists don’t.)


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posted in:
where are the women
  • bronxbee

    a *slight* edge on the US releases though…

  • Not a significant one by any means, though.

  • randy savage

    Mary get a fucking grip in fact why don’t you go and make a fucking movie yourself with a dumb cunt as the main character. Sick of seeing all this feminist hyped up bullshit about movies,video games,music,tv. Your part of the problem Mary by being a dumb whiny whore crying and making a big deal out of it shit like this.

  • The Spirit of Macho Man

    This sad hackneyed douchebaggery dishonors Macho Madness. Ten thousand years as Intercontinental Champion, and I never saw stupidity run so wild! You can’t achieve pure Macho Power with weaksauce wimpy whining and disrespect – the ladies love Nacho Madness because I take respect to the limit! Your hatred is a single grain of sand in the Sahara Desert that is Macho Love. You wanna be too hot to handle, the cream of the crop? Snap into the freaky flavor of feminism! Oh yeeeeah!

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