Movies in 2018 had more diverse leads than ever before

NEW YORK — The top films in 2018 featured more female and people of color in lead roles than ever before, according to a new study from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

‘Black Panther’ stars Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett and Danai Gurira at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner)

Researchers found that women were the lead or co-lead in 40 of the 100 highest-grossing films of 2018. That’s an increase of eight movies from 2017 and 20 movies from 2007, when the study was begun.

There were 28 films with leads or co-leads from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group in 2018. That, too, was a substantial increase from the year prior and the highest mark on record.

Those numbers still fall short of reflecting demographics. Women make up about 51 percent of the U.S. population. Underrepresented groups make up about 39 percent of the U.S. population.

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