A new study conducted by Creative Arts Agency, Shift7 looked at 350 top-grossing movies between the period of 2014 and 2017, across five different categories based on budgets ranging from $10 million to $100 million US. Films analysed through the study included, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Beauty and the Beast.
The study qualified the existence of female-leads using the the Bechdel test– where a film was seen to have at least two female characters who interacted with one another about a topic separate from men.
Since 2012, all films that made more than $1B in box office revenue had passed the Bechdel Test. Films with a female lead generated higher box office for all categories except $30M to $50M.
One of the study’s leads, Liz Chasin described the metric to Gizmodo as a “low bar to clear,” but that the overarching point was an important one to make.
“It’s surprising how many movies don’t clear [the Bechdel test]” she said. “Understandably, the studios think about the bottom line, so it’s great to see a growing body of data that should make it easier for executives to make more inclusive decisions.”