Story at a glance
- Movie goers increasingly show a preference for diverse casts and content, a new survey found.
- UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report released Thursday found films with casts that were from 41-50 percent minority communities enjoyed the highest median global box office receipts.
- The “poorest performers” had casts with less than 11 percent minority representation.
Movie-goers increasingly prefer movies with diverse casts and content, a new survey found.
UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report released Thursday found films with casts that were from 41-50 percent minority communities enjoyed the highest median global box office receipts. The “poorest performers” had casts with less than 11 percent minority representation.
People of color also drove sales at the box office, accounting “for the majority of opening weekend, domestic ticket sales for six of the top 10 films released in theaters.”
Yet the survey noted a sharp drop off in box office sales overall due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to global box office falling “72 percent between 2019 and 2020, from $42.3 billion to just $12 billion.”
“Sheltered in their homes, viewers turned more fervently than ever before to homebased and mobile entertainment,” the report read. “The global home/mobile entertainment market increased to a record $68 billion in 2020, up 23 percent from the $55.9 billion figure for 2019.”
Despite pandemic woes, 2020 was a “watershed” year for people of color and women in leading roles, the report noted. Both groups reached nearly proportional representation with male leads. Yet researchers cautioned viewers that there is a sharp relationship between women and people of color in starring roles and a film’s budget.
“Films with leads who were people of color or women were more likely to have smaller budgets in 2020 than those with White and male leads,” the report read.
The report additionally questioned whether strides made by people of color and women will continue, should there be an end to pandemic restrictions — but the authors are optimistic.
“In any event, 2020’s palpable increase in on-screen diversity and audiences’ engagement with this content demonstrate what is possible in a Hollywood entertainment industry freed from business as usual,” the report read.
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