Dr. Martha Lauzen, San Diego State’s Hollywood stats guru, has completed a new study entitled “Women @ the Box Office.”
This study examines the belief that films made by women or featuring female protagonists earn less at the box office than those made by men or featuring males. The major findings of the study include the following:
- When women and men filmmakers have similar budgets for their films, the resulting domestic, international, and opening weekend box office grosses – as well as DVD sales – are also similar. The sex of filmmakers does not determine box office grosses.
- When the size of the budget is held constant, films with female protagonists or prominent females in an ensemble cast generate similar box office grosses (domestic, international, opening weekend) and DVD sales as films with male protagonists. Films with larger budgets earn larger grosses, regardless of the sex of the protagonist.
Additional statistics and conclusions are presented in the full study.