The top 3 films at the box office in 2017 had female leads - for the first time in nearly 60 years

A positive note to start the new year on: female leads conquered the box office in 2017.

For the first time since 1958, the top three highest-grossing releases in the US featured female leads. At its front, Daisy Ridley's Rey and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which became the highest-grossing film of the year in the US on Sunday with $517 million.

In second place came Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, with Emma Watson as Belle, which landed $504 million, followed by Patty Jenkin's Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, with its $412 million US box office.

According to data from Box Office Madness, which tracks charts before 1980, and Box Office Mojo, which tracks charts after 1980, the last time three films led by women occupied the top spots was 1958.

The highest-grossing film that year was South Pacific, with Mitzi Gaynor as a WWII nurse; in second place was Auntie Mame, with Rosalind Russell as a Manhattan socialite; occupying third place was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which starred Elizabeth Taylor as Tennessee Williams' heroine Maggie "The Cat" Pollitt.

Hopefully, that trend can continue into 2018 thanks to the likes of female-led projects Proud Mary, Ocean's 8, Tomb Raider, Mary Poppins Returns, and A Wrinkle in Time.

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