Women-Led Movies Make More Money

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 8:10 am

A new study shows that over the past few years, movies with a female lead character made more money in every category from low-budget to blockbuster-budget, than movies with a male lead character. And that didn’t even count films like “The Force Awakens” because technically Daisy Ridley was not listed as the star.

According to findings from the Creative Artists Agency and shift7, a company started by the former United States chief technology officer Megan Smith, the top movies from 2014 to 2017 starring women earned more than male-led films, whether they were made for less than $10 million or for $100 million or more.

The research also found that films that passed the Bechdel test — which measures whether two female characters have a conversation about something other than a man — outperformed those that flunked it.

That may be, as one of the study’s authors notes, that it is harder to get financing for a woman-led film, so the extra hurdles mean that only the best get made. It may be that executives are willing to bet on a film with a popular male star, even if the script is weak, but not a female star. It will be interesting to see if this research leads to any changes in the way productions are greenlit.

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Gender and Diversity Understanding Media and Pop Culture

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