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Guess What? Women Buy More Movie Tickets Than Men

by Melissa Silverstein
March 11, 2010 3:13 AM
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You know that whole conversation about how women don't go to the movies and are not a film market? You know that conversation that we hear over and over as the big reason why we are inundated with crappy boy films week in and week out.

Well thanks to the statistics that we released by the MPAA with barely a blip yesterday, (thanks David Poland for the heads up) the news is that not only do women go to movies, we go more than men. Yes, folks -- women go to the movies more than men do.

This news should rock each and every executive in Hollywood more than the Bigelow Oscar win. Cause this is something they understand. This is money and women are delivering the money. Big time.

So I am officially holding a funeral for the term "women are not a film market." I never want to hear it uttered again. I am going to keep these statistics next to my computer (or maybe make them my screensaver but that would mean removing my picture of Kathryn Bigelow holding two Oscars) because every time someone says that women don't go to the movies I'm just going to throw the stats in their faces.

I know exactly why the 2009 numbers increased. If you follow the business it's not too hard to figure it out. The reasons are New Moon and The Blind Side with a side of The Proposal (now Sandra Bullock's Oscar makes even more sense.) Maybe folks are going to try and say that it is a fluke because there were two female centric successes and we don't have those frequently. Friends, that is the whole fucking point. It's like that line from Field of Dreams - "if you build it they will come." It is only looked at as a fluke because of the shortsightedness of people who won't believe that women will continue to go to the movies. There is nothing in any of the data that I have looked at the gives me any indication that women won't go to the movies in the future. In fact, I would venture to say that if they continue to make movies that attract women we will continue to be there.

Another line that I want to bury for good is that young men go to the movies more than anyone else. That's just bullshit. Younger men don't go to the movies more than younger women. Younger people in general go to the movies more, but based on the MPAA numbers of frequent moviegoers (ones who go more than once a month) in the coveted demographic of 18-24, women make up 3.4 million filmgoers while men make up 3.1 million. Suck on that Hollywood!

Don't believe me, check out the numbers from the MPAA

Here are the other stats:


  • In 2009 there were 217 million moviegoers. The total admissions was 1.4 billion dollars.

  • Women are 113 million of the moviegoers and bought 55% of the tickets.

  • Men are 104 million of the moviegoers and 45% of the tickets.


Here's the money quote from the MPAA:

"A higher percentage of women than men are moviegoers in all categories of frequency."

In. All. Categories. of. Frequency.

Women make up 9 million more filmgoers than men.

Bottom line: The future is female. The upside is great. The market is there ready to be tapped. The only issue is who will take advantage of it.

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More: MPAA, Statistics

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