movies that pass the Bechdel Test make more money than movies that don’t
In case you missed this… and so I have a post here ready to link to every time someone trots out the ol’ “But Hollywood is just a business and if movies with women made money Hollywood would make them!”
The Dollar-And-Cents Case Against Hollywood’s Exclusion of Women
Using Bechdel test data, we analyzed 1,615 films released from 1990 to 2013 to examine the relationship between the prominence of women in a film and that film’s budget and gross profits. We found that the median budget of movies that passed the test — those that featured a conversation between two women about something other than a man — was substantially lower than the median budget of all films in the sample. What’s more, we found that the data doesn’t appear to support the persistent Hollywood belief that films featuring women do worse at the box office. Instead, we found evidence that films that feature meaningful interactions between women may in fact have a better return on investment, overall, than films that don’t.
You should go read FiveThirtyEight to understand where writer Walt Hickey got his numbers and how he crunched them. And how those numbers can be used to smash the usual arguments against featuring representatives of half the human race in movies: that audiences don’t like them, for instance, or that they don’t sell internationally.
The numbers say those arguments are bullshit. And if Hollywood is all about numbers, they should listen. Except… if Hollywood were truly all about numbers, Hollywood would know this already. So I don’t anticipate seeing any drastic changes from Hollywood’s SOP soon.
image above from ‘Divergent,’ in which known females Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet talk about politics, culture, history, cuisine, and fascism