It must be a cliché that American movies are, overwhelmingly, made for 17-year-old white boys.  Goodness knows that there is plenty of evidence on this website to back up the cliché.  In light of this, I am surprising floored by the actual data showing who goes to movies.  It’s not that I didn’t know that women, people of color, and grown-ups went to movies.  It’s just that seeing it in technicolor just drills home the fact that the making of movies to please white male kids is ideological, not capitalist.  And that’s always an interesting observation to make.

55% of tickets sold are sold to not-men:


40% of tickets sold are sold to non-white people:


72% of tickets sold are sold to legal adults (i.e., not-kids, though they may be buying tickets for kids):

Data from the Motion Picture Association of America (via Racialicious).

See also our post on how about 1/3rd of ESPN’s audience are women.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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