Actors Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston pose for photographers at the World Premiere of 'Alien: Covenant' in London, Britain May 4, 2017. Picture: Reuters

Major film studios featured nine fewer films with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) characters in 2017 compared to the year before, according to an annual report by media-advocacy organisation GLAAD.

Only 14 of the 109 films counted by the New York-based organisation featured an LGBTQ character last year, accounting for fewer than 13 per cent of major studio releases produced by the top seven studios according to box-office share, reports variety.com.

The organisation rates studios' efforts as excellent, good, insufficient, poor or failing.

No film studio has earned an excellent rating in the six years.

Universal and 20th Century Fox received the highest marks, earning an "insufficient" rating. Among the titles pointed out by GLAAD researchers were Universal's "Get Out", which suggested the family's housekeeper, Georgina, is a lesbian and Fox's "Alien: Covenant".

The sci-fi action-thriller featured a gay couple, though it wasn't until after the death of the gay characters that their relationship became clear. Sony's "Rough Night" also earned praise for featuring two main characters, Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer), who shared a kiss at the end of the movie, rekindling their romance.

Earning poor ratings were Disney and Sony. Lionsgate and Warner Bros were rated as failing. 

The annual report is intended to pressure top movie studios to feature more LGBTQ characters and in more meaningful ways. This year, GLAAD issued a call to studios to ensure that at least 20 per cent of major studio releases include LGBTQ characters by 2021 and 50 per cent by 2024.