Percentage of movies with female leads doubled in the last 20 years (but still low)

“Everything Everywhere At The Same Time”, “Captain Marvel” and “Little Women”are just some of the films of the last decade that have not only been a success at the box office, but have featured women in leading roles (michelle yeoh, Brie Larson and saoirse ronan respectively).

And it is that in an industry with a greater male presence, two decades ago Hollywood began to turn around. In the last 20 years, the presence of women as protagonists has more than doubled, reaching 33% in 2022.

This is indicated by the report of the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. The research takes into account the 100 highest-grossing films in America. The analysis shows a rise in the last two decades of women in leading roles, although the journey has not been without oscillations.

While in 2002 16% was reached, in 2011 only 11% was obtained. 2019 had its maximum figure with 40% of blockbuster films with women as protagonistsbut experienced another decline the following year, achieving 29%.

The 33% reached last year contrasts with the 52% obtained by men and 14% who reached leading couples (man and woman).

The report also provides details on the characterization of the roles studied. Considers main characters to those who “appear in more than one scene and are fundamental to the narrative of the story” and speaking characters to “all the main and minor characters”.

During the past year, women had 38% of the main characters, which meant an increase of 3 points with 2021 (35%). In the case of speaking characters, women reached 37% of the roles, an increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2021 (34%).

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