January 18, 2017

“Kung Fu Panda 2” now highest-grossing film directed by a woman


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Most people who pay attention to box office stats could tell you that James Cameron currently holds the title of top male box-office earner thanks to his impressive work on both “Titanic” and “Avatar.” But how many people could tell me which female director has Hollywood’s highest-grossing film?

As of this weekend, the answer is Jennifer Yuh Nelson, whose animated summer sequel to “Kung Fu Panda” crossed the $636M mark worldwide, making it the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman.

As reported by EW.com, the Panda sequel broke the record when it surpassed Phyllida Lloyd’s musical adaptation of the hit Broadway show “Mamma Mia!” with Meryl Streep and Amada Seyfried.

Women actually have a strong track record when it comes to animated or CGI-and-live-action blends, as other leaders on the chart include “Shrek 2” co-director Vicky Jenson and Betty Thomas for her work on “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” Slightly further down the list, you’ll find original “Twilight” helmer Catherine Hardwicke, whose contribution to that popular franchise earned $192.8M domestically and $392.6M worldwide.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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