Women! They’re everywhere – in bars, at your bus stop, in your office (unless you work for the Liberal party), and now even in your precious children’s movies about punching and space and punching in space.
And it looks like this whole “putting chicks in movies” thing might not just be a trend – because it makes money.
A new study analysed box office data for the 350 top-grossing films released between 2014 and 2017. While 105 were classified as female-led – that means a woman who is listed first in the official press materials – and 245 were male-led, the female-led category outgrossed the dude leads in every single budget category.
That means it’s not just mega-hits like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Wonder Woman and Moana skewing the budget towards the ladies – even with the movies that cost less than US$10M to make (and still cracked the top 350), the female-led ones still made a cheeky two million bucks more than the male-led movies overall in that period.
And of movies that cost over $100 million to make, there were 75 male-led ones, and only 19 starring women. And those 19 still out-earned the 75 by $72 million.
The analysis also looked at data from bechdeltest.com, which lists which movies manage not to trip over the lowest possible bar for fully-formed female characters: are there two women characters whose names we know, who manage to have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around a dude?
Like I said, low bar – but 40% of the films in the study don’t pass it. But hey, here’s a statistic, direct from the study:
“Since 2012, all films that have made more than $1B in box office revenue have passed the Bechdel Test.”
ALL FILMS THAT MADE OVER US$1B. That means:
– Star Wars: The Force Awakens
– Jurassic World
– Star Wars: The Last Jedi
– Avengers: Age of Ultron
– Furious 7
– Beauty and the Beast
– The Fate of the Furious
– Captain America: Civil War
– Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
– Finding Dory
The last film to make $1B without passing Bechdel was the first Hobbit movie. Is it even possible to make one billion dollars without passing the Bechdel Test any more? We may never know.
The Top Gun reboot is just going to be all about Captain Marvel’s previous life in the Air Force and Tom Cruise will have a wordless cameo as a guy who tries to hit on Brie Larson in a bar but she politely demolishes him and gets on with her night.
Sorry, lads. That’s showbiz. There might be a few love interest roles for you if you’re willing to do a nude scene, though.