A follow-up to hit comedy The First Wives Club was shelved because studio bosses weren't willing to increase Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton's salaries when the film became an unexpected hit.

The 1996 film about three divorced women seeking revenge on their ex-husbands topped box offices around the world and left fans clamouring for a sequel, but in a new interview with the Harvard Business Review, Hawn reveals plans for a follow-up fell apart because studio bosses refused to pay the film's stars more money.

Hawn explains, "We were all women of a certain age, and everyone took a cut in salary to do it (make the film), so the studio could make what it needed. We all took a smaller back end than usual and a much smaller front end. And we ended up doing incredibly well. The movie was hugely successful. It made a lot of money. We were on the cover of Time magazine."

She continues, "Two years later, when the studio came back with a sequel, they wanted to offer us exactly the same deal. We went back to ground zero. Had three men come in there, they would have upped their salaries without even thinking about it. But the fear of women's movies is embedded in the culture."

The First Wives Club raked in $181.5 million (£113.4 million) worldwide and also landed an Oscar nomination for Marc Shaiman's score.