"There are other situations where women did not move into opportunities that men would have," Coolidge said. "One is [Kimberly Peirce] the director of 'Boys Don't Cry.' How long did it take her to get another picture? I feel like the situation may be more fragile for a woman than a man."
One thing "Twilight" does illustrate is the findings of Lauzen's latest study "Women @ the Box Office," which showed that, contrary to popular belief, women are not "bad box office."
"If you level the playing field, if you give these films similar budgets, films made by women or with female protagonists will generate similar box office grosses as films made by men or with male protagonists," Lauzen said.
"But perception is reality," she added. "These biases are deeply ingrained. It's very difficult to change certain points of view. 2008 could really mark a sea change in perceptions, so I'm hopeful."
So is Basinger. She said two of the best films she has seen this year, "Wendy and Lucy" and "Frozen River," were made by women directors.
"When we come to the end of the year, there are going to be films that were huge at the box office that were directed by women and big at the award ceremonies that were directed by women," she said. "And that's progress."