CAA, the powerful entertainment agency, released a study last month researching the impact that diverse casting has on the financial performance of films. The results were compelling.
“One of the interesting things that the most successful movies share is that they’re broadly appealing to diverse audiences,” said Christy Haubegger, leader of CAA’s multicultural development group, who oversaw the study along with agency executive Talitha Watkins. “People want to see a world that looks like theirs.”
The study was commissioned after new data revealed that 49 percent of movie ticket sales in 2016 were made to non-White patrons. The study reviewed 413 films released between 2014 and 2016 and determined that at every budget level, films with casts that were at least 30 percent non-White, outperformed films with mostly White casts on opening weekend. Movies like Rogue One and The Fast and the Furious are two strong examples of this phenomenon. Doing the right thing is important but money is king in Hollywood so, for people who want to see more diversity in film and TV, this is the best news in a long time.