Women Are The Key To Movies Earning More Money, According To A New Study

It goes without saying that on-screen representation matters—a lot. Accurate portrayals of the lives of women and people of color are crucial to creating a more culturally-aware and accepting society. And it just so happens to also have huge financial benefits, as proven by a recent study. 

Relying on box office data collected by Gracenote, Creative Artists Agency and shift7 reviewed 350 films with varying production budgets. Of those 350, 105 were female-led and 245 were led by men. They found that the top movies from 2014 to 2017 with female leads made, on average, more money at the box office than movies with male leads at every single budget level. In addition, the CAA and shift7 found that every film that has made more than $1 billion in revenues since 2014 has passed the Bechdel test.

For those of you who don’t know, the Bechdel test was created by the amazing cartoonist, Alison Bechdel, and measures representation of women in fiction. In order to pass the test, a film, show, or book has to have two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a guy. 

According to the study, the last film to have failed the Bechdel test but still make over $1 billion was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The study also showed that films that pass the test make more in revenue at the box office at every budget level than films that failed the test. 

This study is part of the larger battle in Hollywood for the inclusion of women and people of color both on-screen and off. It shows that movement for inclusivity has made progress, but there is still a lot of work to be done.