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2017: A Breakthrough Year for Hollywood Heroines?

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Actors Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill pose for photographers as they arrive for the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', at the Royal Albert Hall in central London, Britain December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Hollywood’s so desperate to get past harassment scandals that industry insiders have proclaimed 2017 “the year of the strong woman.” Box office returns show that the three top moneymakers in America all featured female protagonists: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman. “Women truly emerged as the giants of cinema this year,” said box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Of course, it’s also noteworthy that this trio of top films, as skillful and enjoyable as they were, all counted as sequels or remakes of properties dating back more than 40 years—hardly triumphs of daring originality!

Somehow, these rehashed projects got new life by casting glamorous new actresses: Daisy Ridley of Star Wars is 25, Emma Watson of Beauty and the Beast is 27, and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot is 32. It’s hardly a shock to see moviegoers happily investing their money to gaze up at youthful screen goddesses with striking good looks.

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