The issue of gender inequality in Hollywood has been one of the hottest topics recently, ignited even more so by Jennifer Lawrence's recent letter addressing the wage gap between men and women in Hollywood.
A classic counter-argument is that films with female leads just don't make enough money. Cate Blanchett also addressed this during her Oscar acceptance speech, claiming that films with female leads are niche experiences.
However, a recent study has blown this theory out of the water -- highlighting the fact that films with female leads are domestically averaging more than films with men in leading roles.
Since 2006, films with female leads have averaged $126.1 million, compared to the $80.6 million films with male leads have made. On average, that's an incredible $45.5 million more!
There are, of course, huge franchises like Hunger Games and Twilight that make hundreds of millions, but even when broken down year on year, the stats are equally as impressive:
Of course, the number of female leads is significantly lower than the number of male leads. In fact, in speaking parts of movies, females make up a shockingly low 30.2% over the past seven years.
To combat this, the study is a reflection only of the top 25 grossing films year on year, regardless of who plays the lead role. This means the volume of poor achieving, male dominated movies aren't taken into consideration to skew results.
When you think about it, this makes the huge pay gap between male and female stars even more shocking than it already is. But part of the problem is rooted much deeper than how much money films make.
In her letter on the subject, Jennifer Lawrence addressed the wider issue of inequality in pay between men and women. She said:
"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need."
This cynicism doesn't just exist in Hollywood, either. But it's fair to say by such a high profile industry discussing the issue, the effects of any progression should be far reaching.