According to The Los Angeles Times, a new study and database created by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has confirmed something that’s been on a lot of minds over past several months with movies like “Hidden Figures,” “Get Out,” and “Wonder Woman" performing so well at the box office: Movies starring people of color, women, and LGBTQ actors make money.
The study suggests that a diverse cast means a more diverse audience, which means more money at the box office. (Though it's important to note that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.)
CAA examined the diversity of the top 10 billed actors in 413 theatrical films released from the start of 2014 through the end of 2016, along with box-office performance and audience demographics. It found that the most successful films at the box office had a relatively large share of nonwhite viewers — of the top 10 grossing movies in 2016, 47% of the opening weekend audience (and 45% in 2015) were people of color. And films with what the CAA regards as "truly diverse" casts tend to outperform ones with less diverse casting.
The most successful film studied was 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac.
“The hope is that seeing real numbers attached to the success of the inclusion of more voices and diverse casts will be further motivation for studios, networks, and others to be really conscious of the opportunity,” CAA President Richard Lovett said.
The LA Times also reports that CAA’s revenue from multicultural clients went up by 14% between 2015 and 2016. CAA was also recognized in a USC study for representing the “largest share of female and African American directors.” Those directors include "Selma" director Ava Duverany and "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins.