New research has found that movies with women in lead roles outperformed movies led by men at the box office. It’s a clear signal to Hollywood that inclusion isn’t just a fad–it’s smart business.
Creative Artists Agency and tech company shift7 examined 350 of the top-grossing films between 2014 and 2017 and broke those films down into five budget levels ranging from under $10 million to $100+ million. Even though there were more men in leading roles from that dataset (245 versus 105 female-led roles), women pulled in more more revenue at the global box office at each budget level. The research team also found that since 2012, all the films that made more than $1 billion at the box office have passed the Bechdel Test, the popular three-point metric created by Alison Bechdel that looks at how women are portrayed in film. To pass the test, a movie must feature two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.
CAA and shift7 joined forces through Time’s Up and the organization’s efforts to include more women in film and TV, and improve how they’re portrayed.
“This analysis affirms data showing that diversity has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line,” said Time’s Up president and CEO Lisa Borders in a press release. “As studios consider their fiduciary responsibilities to their investors, these findings offer a clear approach to delivering the best results.”
Read more about CAA and shift7’s research here.