The Avengers (Photo credit: Marvel Studios)
The Avengers (Photo credit: Marvel Studios)


Male superheroes account for 91 per cent of screen time across the highest-grossing superhero movies

Despite the recent mega-success of Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, the representation of female characters across superhero movies is still low, new research has found.

Information from Battle of The Super Sexes features key gender stats from the top ten highest grossing superhero movies across a number of categories, including screen time, the number of directors and producers, named characters, movie poster billing position and more.

The analysis shows how 91 per cent of superhero screen time is dominated by male characters, with men featuring on-screen for an average of almost 13 minutes compared to a mere four for women.

However, it’s worth noting that the two biggest female-led superhero films, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, are not included in the research as it focuses solely on the ten biggest films of the genre.

(Photo credit: Marvel Studios)
(Photo credit: Marvel Studios)

Of the 69 superheroes that appear across the ten films to be researched, the majority (52 per cent) are male, and of the 256 named characters, only 77 are female.

Men make up 75 per cent of the combined 105 main listed producers and there are no female directors (had it been included, Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins would have been the sole female director).

However, despite there being more male superheroes overall, when reviewing each of the film’s movie posters actresses names are positioned higher than actors. On average, female actress’s names are featured at position 5.69 compared to men at position 4.72.

Picking out key summary data for individual titles, the research identifies how Black Panther includes the highest amount of named female characters compared to men (16 vs 10). The Dark Knight Rises features 18 named characters, three of whom are women.

In Captain America: Civil War, the main male characters are on screen for a total of two hours and 30 minutes, whereas the main female characters feature for less than 30 minutes.

Key film data also showcases comments from female cast members regarding the gender pay gap. For example, when discussing the Iron Man series, Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays superheroine Pepper Potts, called being paid less than her male co-stars “painful”, and that “nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth”.

When asked what the pay difference was, she said: “if I told you the disparity you would probably be surprised”.

(Photo credit: Marvel Studios)
(Photo credit: Marvel Studios)

Last year it was also extensively reported that Scarlett Johansson was paid the same wage as her male counterparts Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) for both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

To find out each film’s individual key gender stats, please visit Battle of The Super Sexes.

Written by QWEERIST editor

What do you think?

7 points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply





Let's Talk About Sex airs on Channel 4 in April.

Danny Dyer, Miriam Margolyes, and Kieron Richardson to talk sex education in Channel 4 doc

Gossip reunite for 10th anniversary ‘Music for Men’ UK and European tour