You might know Greta Gerwig from indie-movies like Frances Ha and Mistress America, but this weekend the 34-year-old actor, writer, and first time solo director broke box office records with Lady Bird.
A coming-of-age story about a young woman in Northern Cali, Lady Bird, charts the ups and downs of teen Christine McPherson, who has a clunky relationship with her mother and requires people in her Sacramento town to refer to her as "Lady Bird," the nickname of LBJ's wife.
(Side bar: Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson was First Lady of the United States, as the wife of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Notably well-educated for a woman of her era, she proved a capable manager and a shrewd investor.)
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Gerwig said, "Writing this character was an exploration of all these things I didn't have access to or I couldn't be. In that way, it almost felt like this fairy-tale invention of a deeply flawed heroine, but one who I admire. I think she shows courage and a lot of character even when she's flailing."
Gerwig wrote the script between 2013-14, stumbling through numerous drafts and titles. The hard work paid off. Lady Bird broke box office records last weekend.
The lead semi-autobiographical character is played by Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan. The movie has been dubbed a smash success by critics-- "perfect" according to Rolling Stone-- and moviegoers, who turned out in droves this past weekend to see the film. Opened to limited audiences its first weekend, the movie showed in four locations, a "specialty box office opening." It grossed $375,612 in four theaters, with a theater average of $93,903. Those numbers blow typical small box office openings out of the water, making it the best speciality box office opening of 2017. Those numbers also make Lady Bird the best ever limited debut for a movie directed by a woman. With Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman breaking the record for highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman in the world, it’s a landmark year for women in Hollywood.
Keep on soaring, LB. Keep soaring, ladies.