in brief: study finds films that pass bechdel test made more money
Readers may recall that in 2013 the Swedish government adopted a measure called the Bechdel test to ensure greater female representation in film. The test analyses a film to see whether there are at least two female characters in a film who talk to each other about something other than a man.
The test seems simple enough, and yet many films still do not meet that requirement. However, in more positive news, a report conducted by Versha Sharma and Hanna Sender for Vocativ shows that films of 2013 that did pass the test, made more at the box office.
Sharma and Sender analysed 50 films and of those 17 or 36 per cent passed the Bechdel test. Whilst the numbers were low, the returns from the box office were high.
‘What we found is this: The grand total domestic box office number for the movies that passed is significantly higher than the domestic box office total for the movies that didn’t. We’re talking billions.’
So this would appear to send a pretty strong message to Hollywood, if you want to make more money, put more women in your film.
There is still some way to go however, as the Vocativ study points out of these 50 films analysed only one was codirected by a woman (Disney Animation film Frozen – Jennifer Lee).
Hopefully this new revelation will help overcome the current gender imbalance in film, and give way to more inclusive (and successful) films.