"What Women Want: Unlocking Box Office Revenue" Suggests Studios Leave Money on the Table With Addiction to Tentpoles
Los Angeles, CA and Auckland, New Zealand; October 6, 2015 - Even with such chart-topping titles as "Jurassic World" and "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," 2015's unadjusted cumulative box office is up only 6% over 2014 and only 1% over 20131. Movio, the global leader in marketing data, analysis, insights and campaign creation for theatrical exhibitors, studios and film distributors, suggests that the film industry is "leaving money on the table" by not paying more attention to underserved sectors of the moviegoing audience.
Central to Movio's assertion is the fact that big-budget tentpole films are not sufficient for driving an increase in overall moviegoing. The audience for blockbusters is already well served throughout the year, so spreading that audience over a larger slate of big budget films may not be a sustainable strategy to increase annual box office. Movio Chief Executive and Co-Founder Will Palmer revealed the results of a research campaign initiated exclusively for TheGrill during his presentation on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.
In "What Women Want: Unlocking Box Office Revenue" Palmer presented compelling data to support Movio's premise that female moviegoers may hold the key to significantly increasing the annual box office haul, which suggests that some of the studios' marketing firepower could be redirected to non-tentpole films to increase box office heft.
Movio's data scientists profiled the audience that avoids blockbuster films, partitioning their sample of more than 1 million typical North American moviegoers by their tentpole preferences, concentrating on the group whose preference for these films was significantly less than average. The purpose of this research was to identify areas where there were opportunities to expand moviegoing numbers by attending to populations that are underserved by content or marketing. The analysis revealed two groups that formed the core of the research:
1. Millennial women, who preferred comedies and frequented the movies during the evening almost once a month.
2. Female baby-boomers who primarily like dramas and tend to visit the cinema during the day on a monthly basis as well.
According to Palmer, "It's well known that women are responsible for making many household financial decisions and across the cinema chains that participate in Movio Media, 60% of loyalty cardholders are women. In addition, they are primarily responsible for introducing children to the cinemas, as women make up 57% of the animated film audience."
Further analysis of the financial information that Movio has collected combined with the exclusive insights of the research, shows that of the 203 movies for which Movio could obtain financial data, 45 had an audience that was 60% men, while 40 had an audience that was greater than 60% women. Although the male-dominated films had an average worldwide gross twice as big as the female-dominated films, the average gross to budget ratio of female-dominated films is greater: 5.1 vs. 2.3. This trend is true even when Movio considered blockbusters, with the male-focused superhero films averaging a global gross to budget ratio of 2.9, while the female-focused action films (centered on the Hunger Games franchise) returned an average gross to budget ratio of 4.4.
Palmer adds, "This suggests that a shift in focus towards producing and marketing films to women could pay off not only in incremental box office, but in blockbuster returns as well."
For access to Movio's complete "What Women Want: Unlocking Box Office Revenue" research white paper, visit movio.co/thegrill.
1 Source: Box Office Pro