Last week, we pub­lished a study of the financing and per­for­mance of films that pass the Bechdel test, a mea­sure of how promi­nently a movie fea­tures women. We found that passing films have had dis­pro­por­tion­ately lower bud­gets than films that fail. We also found — despite a com­monly held belief among pro­ducers — that there is little sta­tis­tical evi­dence to sup­port the idea that movies fea­turing women do worse than films that don’t.

I was encour­aged by the pos­i­tive response to the article, but I was blown away Monday when Brian Keegan, a postdoc fellow at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, pub­lished a repli­ca­tion of our study. To test our find­ings, Brian redid our research from the ground up.

Keegan found the same thing we did, but he also took the research a step fur­ther, pulling in IMDb​.com rat­ings and Meta­critic scores. Movies that pass the Bechdel Test have been awarded 1.8 more Meta­critic points by pro­fes­sional reviewers and 0.12 fewer stars by IMDb reviewers.

Read the article at FiveThirtyEight →