PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- If anyone in the movie industry is still wondering why the number of moviegoers is dropping, their lack of imagination is part of the problem.
The Motion Picture Association of America released its annual report on moviegoer demographics a few weeks back and, heading into blockbuster season, there are a few numbers the industry is just going to outright ignore. Last year, women were 52% of all moviegoers and bought half of all tickets sold.
Despite the fact women have been going to the movies in greater numbers since 2009, the annual Celluloid Ceiling survey released by Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, found that between 1998 and 2012 they've been less likely to direct (just 6% of all directors, down 3% from 1998), write (10%, down 5%) or edit (17%, down 3%). In the 500 top-grossing films released from 2007 to 2012, male actors outnumbered actresses 2.25 to 1.2014 Hollywood Diversity Report from the University of California at Los Angeles' Ralph S. Bunche Center For African-American Studies, 89.5% of the lead actors in Hollywood films in 2011 were white. Women fared little better, as 74.4% of leading roles that year were handed to men. More than 51% films featured a cast that was 90% white and nearly three-quarters of films had white actors filling at least four of every five roles -- despite the fact more diverse films generate a stronger return on investment. Studios and casting agencies alike aren't about to change the status quo just because the MPAA's numbers show a demographic shift. The only numbers they tend to understand are the ones with $ in front of them. Showing up in greater numbers as males -- and white males, specifically -- stay home hasn't changed the face of Hollywood. Throwing that box office money behind the faces audiences would rather see just might. -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.