With titles such as Captain Marvel, Frost 2 and Young Women, 40 percent of the films had female protagonists last year, according to a study from San Diego State University. In 2018, the corresponding figure was 31 percent.

43 percent of 2019 films had a male foreground figure, while 17 percent had a mixed ensemble.

Of the female lead roles, 45 percent appeared in films from the major film companies while the rest were in indie films. This is a dramatic increase from the previous year when female lead roles were twice as common in the independent productions.

The study defines a protagonist as a character whose perspective shapes the story.