NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
A more diverse cast brings a more diverse audience, which brings in more money. That’s according to a study released on June 21 by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
The study examined 413 theatrical films released between January 2014 through December 2016, and found that for many of the highest-grossing movies in 2016 and 2015, non-white moviegoers made up nearly half of the opening weekend audience.
It also found that opening weekend box office for “truly diverse” films — defined as having a cast that is at least 30 percent non-white — outperforms releases that are not truly diverse. The best-performing movie out of all those evaluated was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which had a roughly 40 percent diverse cast and a 38 percent diverse audience.
Richard Lovett, president of CAA, told the Los Angeles Times, “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.”
Christy Haubegger, who heads up CAA’s multicultural development group, said the data is proof that “people want to see a world that looks like theirs.”
The study also included some interesting information about the types of films members of different ethnic groups flock to. Latinos, for instance, go more for horror and animation, Asians for fantasy and animation, Black moviegoers tend to see biopics and thrillers, while whites are more likely to buy tickets to drama or romance films.
The casts of horror and fantasy films are more largely white, while comedies and thrillers are more diverse.
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