Despite the opinions of male Hollywood executives who openly claim that women-led movies are doomed to financial failure, a new study has revealed that having a female lead is actually one of the most powerful statistical indicators that a film will achieve financial success. Working in conjunction with anti-discrimination group Time’s Up and the tech company shift7, The Creative Arts Industry looked at 350 of the top-grossing films between 2014 and 2017 and found that movies with female leads consistently made more money on average than those with male leads — even across varying budget levels.
“Women comprise half the box office, yet there has been an assumption in the industry that female-led films led were generally less successful,” noted CAA researcher Christy Haubegger. “We found that the data does not support that assumption.”
The study also analyzed whether top-grossing films passed the Bechdel Test — a metric that gauges a film’s chauvinistic bias by checking whether two female characters ever have a conversation with each other that wasn’t about their romantic interest in a male character. Remarkably, 40 percent of the last three years’ top grossing films failed the rudimentary benchmark, but every film that made more than $1 billion at the box office passed.
The results of the study, said Time’s up president and CEO Lisa Borders, gave a powerful indication that Hollywood producers looking to make a “positive impact on a company’s bottom line” should first look to fund more films starring women. Earlier this year, an analysis of best selling songs in popular music revealed a similar trend — one of the best ways of telling whether a pop song was a hit, researchers found, was as simple as checking to see if the song featured a female lead vocalist.
Read the full story at HuffPost.