There is an enormous gender bias in Hollywood and we have the data to prove it. One way to test this bias is The Bechdel, which is a simple test that tests for three criteria: 1. Movie must have at least two women. 2. They have to talk to each other. 3. They have to talk about something other than a man. It was originally created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985.
Bechdeltest.com is a crowdsourced directory of over 5,000 films that are rated using the previously mentioned Bechdel Test. This smaller dataset was collected from the 1970-2013 financial information which only spans 1794 film titles. This narrow data set came from Women In Movies who used this data to examine the relationship between the number of women in film and to their film’s budget and gross profits. I further narrowed down the data to simply show how many films passed/failed the test per decade. In this final project, I will analyze this data even further and look at the financial findings.
In the 1970's it was rare for a movie to pass the Bechdel Test but you do start to see the numbers increase in the 2010's. The amount of movies passing the Bechdel Test does flatline in the last 20 years as you don't see really big jumps in the numbers. In the 2010's it is split as the majority of movies are stil failing. Of all of the 1794 movies that were studied, here are the final numbers: 991 fail & 803 pass.
For this section of research, we compiled the best/worst net profit values for 5 movies from each decade. This table is a subsection of the table in the section below. When we looked closer at this data, it showed some interesting trends per decade. The data does support the idea that the most successful films failed the Bechdel test but so did the least successful as well.
In the 1970's, the movies that were the most successful and least sucessful both failed the Bechdel Test and only 1 movie assed in both the Best/Worst category.
In the 1980's, the movies that were the most successful failed the Bechdel test, while only 2/5 movies that did the worst passed the Bechdel test.
In the 1990's, 3/5 out of the movies that were the most successful passed the Bechdel test and all the movies that did the worst failed the Bechdel test.
In the 2000's, 4/5 out of the movies that were the most successful failed the Bechdel test and 4/5 movies that did the worst failed the Bechdel test as well.
In the 2010's, 3/5 out of the movies that were the most successful passed the Bechdel test and 4/5 movies that did the worst failed the Bechdel test as well.
Film Rankings Per Decade
|Year||Ranking||Title||Test Result||Adj Budget||Domestic Gross||Domestic Net|
The table below lists every movie that was included in the study, all 1794 of them but they are categorized by decade. Use the table to look through each decade and you can compare all off the movies unlike the above table & visit their IMDB page.
The complete findings salso how that the result of passing the Bechdel test did not hurt any net domestic profits.
|Year||Title||Test Result||Adj Budget||Domestic Gross||Domestic Net|
If you have any questions about the data, contact me.
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I am a third-semester graduate student working towards December 2017 graduation with my Masters of Mass Communication with a digital media concentration at Texas State University. I graduated May 2016 with my Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication with an art & Design minor.