(Los Angeles) Movies released in the United States on streaming platforms are more representative of minorities and have more female leads than those released in theaters, according to a study released Thursday.

Films aimed at small screens are more reflective of American society, says the Hollywood Diversity Report, which notes that films with diverse casts achieve strong audiences.

Movie studios need to take changing audiences into account if they want moviegoers to keep going to dark rooms, say the report’s authors.

“Our research shows that diversity in movies is just plain good for business,” said Ana-Christina Ramon, director of the Media and Entertainment Research Initiative at UCLA University, which produced the report.

Minority people “have saved the movie industry during the pandemic and are crucial in bringing the industry back to pre-pandemic levels,” she adds.

The report argues that increasingly diverse cinema audiences prefer more diverse films.

“The pandemic has normalized diversity on screen, not just in cinemas, but also at home,” writes one of the co-authors, Michael Tran.

“Hearings followed. If Hollywood backtracks on diversity in film, they will lose audiences to streaming and international films,” he adds.

A third of films on streaming platforms had a minority actress or actor in the lead role last year, compared to just 22% of films released in theaters, the report found.

And while actresses and actors roughly evenly split lead roles in movies on streaming platforms, the gap was 60-40 in favor of actors for movies in theaters.

The two most-watched films to stream in 2022, Red Alert and Encanto, were both animated films about minority teenage girls.

The report, which studies the top 200 English-language films released in theaters and the top 100 English-language films released on streaming platforms, comes out just over two weeks after Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Oscar raid.

The film collected seven statuettes, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh, who became the first Asian woman to win this ultimate cinema award.