When a movie comes out with a female main character, it's always treated like a unique, special snowflake compared to the usual dude-friendly blockbusters. But there's solid evidence that it should be the other way around. Mic crunched the numbers to figure out exactly how much movies make when they're about men or women, and the result might make Hollywood plan for Pitch Perfect 23.
Using Box Office Mojo, they figured out the domestic box office gross from the top 25 movies from each year from 2006 to this week in 2015. They then figured out if the movie was about a man or about a woman, and cut films that were mixed-gender ensembles, about objects (like Transformers), or about a man and a woman equally, so they were left with 133 movies.
And the result was pretty shocking: Since 2006, movies about men have made $80.6 million, while movies about women have made $121.6 million. And female-led movies made more than male-led ones for nearly every year Mic measured. Thank movies like The Hunger Games, Gravity, and Frozen for that. Though keep in mind that this chart only measures domestic box office, and dude-heavy superhero movies bring in serious bank overseas.
This chart would make you think that money-grubbing Hollywood execs would basically only cast women, but that's far from the truth. In 2014, only 12 percent of leading roles were female, down from 13 percent in 2013. Three out of four main characters were also white, which is a major problem in and of itself.
One main reason for the disparity is that there are just so many movies about dudes that more of them are destined to fail. The few movies that are dedicated to women have way more to prove, so they end up being giant hits like Bridesmaids rather than flops like Steve Jobs. And female-led movies usually have smaller budgets, so when they become hits, they have bigger profit margins. Funny enough, if the world gets more female-led, big-budget movies, there will also be more female-led flops, but that's a reality I can live with just fine.
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