*A new study released Wednesday by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) reveals that diverse films tend to draw diverse audiences while also outperforming less-diverse films at the box office.
“People want to see a world that looks like theirs,” Christy Haubegger, the head of CAA’s multicultural development group, told the Los Angeles Times. They found that films that met their “truly diverse” criteria — defined as a movie having a cast that is at least 30 percent non-white — earned more than those that featured a primarily white cast.
To compile the study, CAA examined 413 movies released between January 2014 and December 2016. The researchers found “that for the top 10 grossing movies in 2016, 47% of the opening weekend audience (and 45% in 2015) were people of color.”
They also discovered that non-white ticket buyers made up nearly half of the opening weekend audience for some of the biggest films of 2015 and 2016. The highest-grossing film of all those studied was 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which made headlines for it diverse cast.
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In terms of genre, the researchers found that the least diverse films were horror and fantasy films, while the most diverse casting-wise were comedies and thrillers.
“One of the interesting things that the most successful movies share is that they’re broadly appealing to diverse audiences,” said Haubegger.
via LA Times:
The study notes that at every budget level, a film with a cast that is at least 30% non-white — CAA’s definition of a “truly diverse” film — outperforms a release that is not truly diverse in opening weekend box office. And on the audience side of things, the average opening weekend for a film that has a “truly diverse” audience, pegged at 38% to 70% non-white, is $31 million versus $12 million for films with non-diverse audiences.
These numbers seem to confirm that a more diverse cast brings a more diverse audience, which brings in more money.
Diversity in Hollywood continues to be a talking point, with social media campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite drawing attention to the lack of substantial roles for non-white actors. Not to mention the ongoing whitewashing of roles originally based on historical figures of color.