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Actress Gal Gadot receives the 2018 #See Her award for her performance in "Wonder Woman." (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
Actress Gal Gadot receives the 2018 #See Her award for her performance in "Wonder Woman." (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

How ‘bout that?

Women-led films outperform movies with male leads at the box office, study finds

By WITW Staff on December 13, 2018

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.


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