The Four Decade Streak Broken By CATCHING FIRE

Katniss makes history, and shows how far we haven't come in 40 years.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire recently overtook Iron Man 3 at the domestic box offices, becoming the top grossing movie of 2013. Iron Man 3 still holds the title internationally, but in America Katniss Everdeen is number one. That's pretty cool! And it's amazing when you realize this fact:

You have to go back to 1973 to find a film with a female lead that has been #1 at the year end box office. That film is The Exorcist, and even then we could possibly argue whether or not Ellen Burstyn's Chris McNeil counts as the lead. Is Father Karras the lead? Or is it, like Titanic, a co-led picture? If we want to be really, really exacting we have to go back to 1965 for The Sound of Music to find another film with a definitive female lead at the #1 spot (Love Story in 1970 has a co-lead; Buzzfeed is claiming Funny Girl in 1968, but 2001 is the #1 movie of that year). 

I've written a couple of times about how historically important The Hunger Games films are, and I'm happy to do so again. The still-earning Frozen clocks in as the fourth highest grossing domestic film of the year, while Gravity comes in at #7 (Gravity is killiing overseas, by the way - worldwide it has beaten Man of Steel. Frozen might end up beating it as well). 2013 was, quietly and with great quality, a terrific year for women at the movies. 

This insight, by the way, comes from Mark Harris on Twitter.