As demands for equality in Hollywood — both in front of and behind the camera — continue to ramp up, it’s becoming more important than ever to look at how actual, quantifiable numbers are changing (or, in some cases, not changing). Asking for actionable change is essential, but tracking to see if that change is actually taking effect is just as important.
To that end, website Rappler has taken a close look at how budgets for female-driven — or, in their parlance, “Hollywood Movies About Women” — have fluctuated over the past ten years.
The results aren’t exactly shocking — budgets are going up, and so are box office returns — but their origin might surprise some. Per Rappler’s research, the driving force behind bigger budgets (and bigger box office successes) isn’t any kind of Hollywood mandate, it’s audiences making the decision to see female-led and -focused films for themselves.
The site crunched some numbers over the last ten years, comparing budget size to average earnings. When it comes to female-driven films, both are on the rise:
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But Rappler cautions against thanking Hollywood for this change. They note, “Although the data shows that Hollywood is funneling more of its cash into female-led films, it’s worth mentioning that these trends are a reflection of audience tastes more than the risk appetite of movie executives. There’s no organized effort within the industry to develop more scripts with female characters or, more broadly, to encourage moviegoers to rethink their gender biases. It’s all happening organically. For such an outwardly liberal ecosystem, Hollywood is relatively conservative with its bets. If it makes money on certain types of movies, it’ll continue to make more.”
The upshot? If you want to see more movies of a certain kind — like led by women — vote with your moviegoing dollar. That’s what audiences are doing today, and that change is already being felt where it counts: In Hollywood’s deep pockets.
Head over to Rappler to check out the full story.