Women and people of color were the top-ranked groups of viewers for the vast majority of 2023’s top streamed films, according to a new UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report released Thursday.

The Jennifer Lopez film “The Mother” and “You People” featuring Eddie Murphy ranked especially high, with at least 50% of viewers being female or non-white.

What You Need To Know

  • Women and people of color led viewership of 9 out of the top 10 streamed films last year 

  • "The Mother" starring Jennifer Lopez and "You People" featuring Eddie Murphy ranked especially high among both groups

  • Films made for streaming services are more diverse than films for theatrical release, according to the new UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report

  • White women film directors had smaller budgets than white male directors, the report found

“Women and people of color are key audiences that simply cannot be ignored by Hollywood,” UCLA Entertainment and Media Research Initiative Director Ana-Christina Ramon said in a statement. “Once again, we found that successful streaming films are propelled to the top by households of color. And among the highest-rated films, women are the majority of viewers.”

Now in its 11th year, the Hollywood Diversity Report also found that films made for streaming services were more diverse than films made for theatrical release both behind and in front of the camera.

About 31% of streaming films were directed by people of color, compared with 23% for theatrical releases. Women were even less represented as directors of theatrical releases, accounting for 14.7%.

The report found that lead roles for actors of color in streaming films accurately reflected the population for the first time, making up 45% of leads. In 2022, they made up 33.3% of leads. Women were also proportionately represented with 51% of lead roles in 2023 — up from 48.5% a year earlier.

Films where a majority of cast members were diverse was also up significantly, increasing to 35% in 2023 compared with 25.3% a year earlier.

“Increased diversity in front of and behind the camera continues to draw audiences in,” Ramon said. “It reflects the world we live in and will resonate more deeply with youth who are already majority BIPOC and who have become accustomed to seeing themselves reflected in animated films and content produced on social media.”

The report found that white women directors had the smallest film budgets: 84.2% made their films for less than $20 million, compared with 54.3% of white male directors. The only category of film director to make movies with a budget of $100 million or more were white men.

White male leads also had the most opportunity to star in a bigger-budget film made with more than $20 million, while the majority of films starring white women and people of color were made with budgets less than $20 million.

More than half of 2023’s top streaming film releases were made with a budget of less than $20 million, compared with 30% for top in-theater releases. A quarter of theatrical release films were made with a budget of at least $100 million.