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A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Catherine F. Andre Juste


Florida Southern College
BUS3320 Applied Statistics for Business and Economics
November 18, 2015
Mr. Terry Redman

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Abstract
Today movies are able to make millions of dollars in revenue in a single weekend
depending on who was chosen to lead the movie. The purpose of this report is to determine
whether or not the gender of the first person of the main cast affects the outcome of the movies
box office revenue. A regression will be used to see whether or not gender is a major factor in
whether or not gender has a factor in the ending revenue for a movie that was just released.

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Table of Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 2
Table of Contents............................................................................................................................ 3
Introduction..................................................................................................................................... 4
Review of Literature ....................................................................................................................... 4
Research Hypothesis....................................................................................................................... 5
Methodology................................................................................................................................... 6
Results............................................................................................................................................. 6
Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 11
References..................................................................................................................................... 13
Appendices.................................................................................................................................... 14

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Introduction
When movies are released the box office revenue the main actor who is used to promote
the movie to the public can be a large factor, other than genre, on whether or not the movie will
generate a large amount of revenue. The data collected from the International Movie Database
will be used to determine whether of the fifty movies used had a relevant difference in the box
office output, and who the main actor was. In the year 2015 there were many movies that came
out that had a lead of one gender or the other. Many of the movies that came out that had the
highest box office earnings were male with various female lead movie outliers in that area.
Review of Literature
The research used for this paper were on the comparison genders for leading roles in
movies, and whether or not that had an effect on whether or not more people would go see one
that had a female lead compared to a movie that male lead.
The first article I read on this subject was written in the year 2014 by Eliana Dockterman
on the subject of how many of the highest grossing movies based on the year 2013 that had
female leads, and also passed the Bechdel Test. The Bechdel Test is where two females talk to
each other. There are times when the results could be listed as dubious if the subject matter is
about how to please a man, or what many think is actual girl talk. This article supported the
idea that movies with female leads have an equal chance of either being profitable or wasteful.
(Dockterman, 2014)
This second article goes more in depth into what the Bechdel Test, and writes to how
Hollywood should be more inclusive to female lead movies. This article talks more on the

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

analyzation of movies with female characters and how they do or do not interact with other
female characters. The writer behind the article made looked at data that they researched, and
also acquired information from a website based on getting information about female characters
in movies and their profitability. It concluded that the movies that had a womanly feel were
given less funding. They ran their own statistical test to observe their findings on why it seemed
that Hollywood acted in a way to reduce funding for female centered movies despite the fact that
their belief that these movies will not make a profit. (Hickey, 2014)
This last article was written about how despite the advancement of the age movies seem
to not have advanced as quickly as they should have. It uses a regression formula to look at the
data collected of movies from the year 2000 to 2009. They felt that if female movies did not
really have the kind of positive reception that they should have than it would be the fault of said
movie not receiving the kind of backing needed for it to be successful. (Lindner, 2015)
Research Hypothesis
The purpose of this report is to explore the relationship of whether or not the gender of a
main character of major films affected the amount of revenue it accrued in its time in the
theaters. To see whether there is a relationship that exists between the variables of male or
female, a regression test will be used.
H0: 1 = 0
Ha: 1 0
The null hypothesis would be the fact that the gender of the leading star of a movie does affect
the end box office, and the alternative hypothesis would be that the gender of the lead actress
does not affect the revenue that much. If the null hypothesis is rejected than the outcome means

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

that gender is not a factor in the ending revenue for a large box office movie. The level of
significance for this test will be = 0.05.
Methodology
This report contained information retained from the website from the International Movie
Database where the figures collected was information from the top 100 movies with the highest
box office values for 2015. To determine whether the movie had male or female lead I discerned
it by using the name of the first actor/actress. There was an added dummy variable for the data
that would be marked with either the number 1 or 0, with 1 meaning that the movie had a female
lead. This meant that from one data set of box office outcomes it became two with one being for
each gender.
The regression for the data set was calculated using Excels Regression tool this included
the data from the International Movie Database, and the dummy variable to discern a movies
lead actor. Excels data analysis tool was used to calculate the Descriptive Statistics with a 95%
confidence interval for the data set. All other functions such as the frequency distributions and
the limits used in in the Descriptive Statistics table were calculated using various functions.
Results
To begin with, the descriptive statistics for both male and female movies of the year
2015. The tables include the confidence intervals for both genders both at the 95% level.

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics for Female Movies

The second table showcases the information for the descriptive table for male lead
movies.

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Table 2: Descriptive Statistics for Male Movies

The upcoming figures have the data both separately into genders in histograms to show
that for both the box office data seems to be strongly skewed left.

Figure 1: Histogram of Movies with Male Leads

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

The second histogram shows the profit for female movies.

Figure 2: Histogram of Movies with Female Leads

The next figures of data have to do with vertical box plots.

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Figure 3: Boxplot of Male Movies

The next box plot has to do with female movies.

Figure 4: Boxplot of Female Movies

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If the box plots were horizontal than it would be seen that they are also skewed to the left
towards the lesser side of the figure.
The regression for this data was calculated using the dana analysis tool on Excel that
included the Regression tool

Figure 5: Regression for Female & Male Movies

The independent variables for the whole data set was the gender of the movies lead actor,
and the dependent variable was the box office profit because that is what will be affected by who
is chosen to lead the movie cast.
Conclusion
The conclusion to this report is that there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude
that a linear relationship exists between gender and box office revenue. Although there is a large
disparity in the summary of revenue between males and females is quite large it does not really
add to the fact that there are other factors in the reasons why a certain movie will be more
profitable than another.

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The profits that movies make are very interesting, because it is strange to see movies that
were very expensive to make fail to breakeven causing the production company to lose out on
potential millions in investment, and vice versa in some cases where Indy movies with very little
to work with budget-wise will take in way more than what was put in. This only proves that for a
movie to be profitable the gender is not that big a factor when compared to the subject matter of
the film, and the kind of press that has been done for it. It is fascinating to see the kind of movies
that earn a profit, and those that do not despite everything being done to attract attention to it. I
think it also proves that it is really not the gender that matters but the talent, and notability of the
person being chosen.

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References
Dockterman, E. (2014). Movies With Strong Female Roles Make More Money . Time.com, 1-1.
Hickey, W. (2014). The Dollar-And-Cents Case Against Hollywoods Exclusion of Women.
FiveThirtyEight, 1-1.
Lindner, A. M. (2015). Million Dollar Maybe? The Effect of Female Presence in Movies on Box
Office Returns. Sociological INquiry, 407-428.

A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Appendices
1. 50 Movies with High Box Office Profits
2. 25 Female Movies
3. 25 Male Movies

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A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Appendix 1-50 Movies with High Box Office Profits

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A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Appendix 2- Female Movies

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A Study of Whether Gender Affects Movie Revenue

Appendix 3- Male Movies

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