Wonder Woman superhero performance debate club

New study shows female-led films make more on average at the box office

Contributed by
Dec 13, 2018

Over the past few years, we've seen a shift in focus towards making more female-led films. From Ghostbusters to Wonder Woman, female-led films seem to be doing better than ever. But now we have some hard data for anyone who says female-led films just aren’t as profitable as male-led films. A new study from CAA and Shift7 definitively shows how female-led films have made, on average, more than their male-led counterparts over the past several years.

The project analyzed box office revenue and production budget information for the 350 top-grossing films from 2014-2017 which resulted in some pretty awesome findings. Of those 350 films, 105 are considered “female-led” (See? We still have work to do!). Those 105 films grossed, on average, more money than the male-led films in every single budget level. Female-led films with a budget between $10 million-$30 million made $107 million in box office revenue on average compared to $75 million for male-led films. That's a difference of $30 million.

Our favorite test, the Bechdel Test, was also used to analyze how films which pass the test (40% of the films in the study) compared to those which didn’t when it came to global box office revenue. Again, films that passed the Bechdel Test grossed more on average than those which failed, in every single budget level. Films that had a budget of over $100 million and passed the Bechdel Test grossed more than $200 million more on average than those films which didn’t. In fact, since 2012, all films which have grossed more than $1 billion have passed the Bechdel Test. 

These female-led and Bechdel-passing films are making millions of dollars more than male-led films and ones that fail the Bechdel Test. Money talks and it's saying, "Yas, queen!"

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