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Minority lead movie production costs in the U.S. 2007-2018

A survey exploring equality in Hollywood revealed the mean production costs of movies with white male leads amounted to 76 million U.S. dollars, more than double the production budgets of movies with underrepresented female leads. The study analyzed the differences in production costs among top-grossing U.S. movies from 2007 to 2018 by race/ethnicity and gender of leads. From 817 live action movies with a single protagonist, those with male leads received the highest budgets.

Average production costs of top-grossing live action movies from 2007 to 2018, by lead actor gender and ethnicity

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Release date

February 2020


United States

Survey time period

2007 to 2018

Special properties

across 817 live action movies with a solo lead character

Supplementary notes

Number of films per gender/ethnic group: Under Represented Female 34, White Female 185, Under Represented Male 93, White Male 505.

Figures have been rounded.

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