Note To Hollywood: Lady Leads Fill Seats!

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ctachingPhoto: Courtesy of Lionsgate.
After the recent success of films like The Hunger Games franchise, Divergent, The Heat, and Frozen, it's hard to believe that Hollywood still needs convincing that there's an audience for films in which females take the lead. The highest grossing movie last year was Catching Fire, the biggest action star in the world is Jennifer Lawrence, and people generally watch (and laugh at) every single thing Melissa McCarthy does. With facts like these, perhaps it's not the movie studios that need to be convinced that women in film sell.

According to an annual report by the Women’s Media Center, the real reason there are more movies about men than women is because there are much fewer female directors than male ones. In 2013, only 6 percent of the top 250 films' directors were female.

But, just in case the big-wigs do need convincing that female-led films are good for business, Nate Silver's brand-new data hub, FiveThirtyEight, has compiled a report proving that movies that pass the Bechdel test are more profitable at the box office than those that don't. While films that meet the four-point test's criteria have a much lower median budget than films that don't, the return on the investment of Bechdel-approved productions is much higher, figures that also proved true in the increasingly important world of international distribution.

That movies about women make money is just the basic conclusion that Walt Hickey and the FiveThirtyEight team came to after analyzing over 1,500 films released between 1990 and 2013. For a much more comprehensive analysis of their findings (fancy graphs and all!), click here. (FiveThirtyEight)