Diverse films perform better globally says UCLA’s no-brainer report

Money talks and every Hollywood studio should be listening

If you couldn’t tell from the recent #OscarsSoWhite online campaign, Hollywood has a little diversity problem. Already, several institutions and studios are striving to amend this, but as with anything, it’s going to take time. Of course, money talks (and solves everything), which is why UCLA’s latest Hollywood Diversity Report should shave off the minutes incredibly.

As Variety points out, the study, which was completed by the university’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, insists that “more diverse casts perform better at the global box office than films with less diverse casts.” Logic would lead anyone to believe that’s kind of a no-brainer, but not so.

“The conventional wisdom has been, you can’t have a film with a minority lead because it’s not going to travel well overseas — and films make most of their money overseas,” says Bunche Center director Darnell Hunt. “What our study is suggesting is that that logic is false.”

Boy does it ever. Hunt and his team pored over 63 films released in 2014 and calculated that the average global sales with a 41-50% non-white cast was $122 million as opposed to the paltry $53 million a non-white cast of less than 10% produces. That should turn every studio head’s … head.

Then again, this isn’t exactly revelatory. Last year, Universal’s Furious 7 shook the box office in April, and it was reported shortly after that 75% of the ticket buyers were non-white, which the studio wisely attributed to its diverse cast. So, it’s good to know there are those already thinking outside the box.

Nevertheless, check out the study’s fancy graphs below:

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