Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Movies with Women in Prominent Roles Make More Money

Hollywood’s obsession for testosterone-dominated, lack of plot, explosion based movies may be at an end. A recent study by FiveThirtyEight has found that movies with a female lead perform better at the box office and cost less to make.
Recent films like the Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Frozen, and Divergent flush those roided out, explosion-based movies down the drain. The study by FiveThirtyEight used the Bechdel method to determine the correlation between "the prominence of women in a film and that film’s budget and gross profits."
Right about now you are asking yourself what is the Bechndel Method? Developed by Alison Bechdel in 1985, to measure
Hollywood’s gender bias, that if a movie can satisfy three criteria — there are at least two named women in the picture, they have a conversation with each other at some point, and that conversation isn’t about a male character — then it passes “The Rule.”

Not surprisingly many films don’t fit this criteria, the study analyzed 1,615 films released between 1990 to 2013 a film that passed the Bechdel test was $2.68 for each dollar spent as opposed to those films that failed was only $2.45 for each dollar spent. Some of that difference might be caused by lower budget films having a higher return on investment than more expensive films, but it still looks like a strong indicator that women in prominent roles perform well.

Hollywood is continuing to invest in this theory as more movies with strong female leads continue to hit theaters; the latest female action flick, Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansen as a merciless warrior evolved by human logic hits theaters this August.