According to the Creative Arts Agency and strategy group shift7, movies with female leads outperformed those with male leads between the years 2014 and 2017. And that’s not all: Movies that passed the Bechdel Test were even more profitable than movies that failed it.
In case you’re not familiar with Bechdel Test, it was inspired by a comic from Alison Bechdel and defines movies that pass the barest minimum requirement for treating women like people: Are there two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man? Then it passes. That’s it. And yet despite the theoretical ease with which these very minimal requirements might be met, some iconic films flunk the test—among them the entire original “Star Wars” trilogy, “The Lion King,” and “Forrest Gump.”
But in the three years the study examined, 11 films passed the $1 billion revenue mark—and all 11 of them passed the Bechdel Test. Some of those movies were “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (way to turn it around, “Star Wars!”), “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Zootopia.” So it seems that it’s good for business to treat women like human beings. Who. Would. Have. Thought.