Young People Ask Themselves “What Movie Do You Want to Go See?”

How do young people around the world choose when and which movies to see?

A recent Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) study sought to answer this question with an online survey of over 3,000 people 15 to 34 in eight countries. They study’s goal was to explore the cinema-going movie experience.

Here are a few key findings from this project:

Going to the movies is a social and collective experience for two-thirds of young people.

  • For 65% of moviegoers, seeing a film is a social occasion. They choose mainstream movies, make decisions by consensus, and see films more for entertainment than as an intellectual pursuit.
  • A smaller (yet passionate) minority (30%) are all about the film itself. They select from a broad pool and are more discerning in their decision-making. For these moviegoers, films fuel their intellectual curiosity.

“Mainstream Enthusiasts” are the largest segment of young moviegoers, and an important audience to understand and reach. Nearly half (45%) are what we consider “Mainstream Enthusiasts”, a highly influential group.

  • They organize trips to the cinema and persuade friends and family to join them.
  • They are more likely to go to the movies at least monthly.
  • And finally, they are also more likely to watch trailers and to share their movie experience on social media.

For young moviegoers, trailers, clips and word of mouth fuel their discovery of movies.

  • Young people are most likely to initially become aware of new films through trailers at the cinema (60%), followed by TV ads (56%), friends (53%), and YouTube (52%).
  • Trailers are most important in helping young people decide what to see (80%), followed by seeing snippets or clips from the film (72%) and recommendations from friends and family (71%). Social media mentions are less effective in helping people choose a film.

Computers are the device of preference for watching trailers. This gives viewers more control than at the cinema and on TV yet provides a larger screen than the mobile phone or tablet.

  • More than 7 in 10 (72%) watch trailers on their desktop or laptop computer, outranking the cinema itself (65%) and on TV (61%).
  • Fewer young people watch trailers on smaller screens like mobile phones (37%) and tablets (30%).

And finally, while viewers enjoy this discovery process and the anticipation of an upcoming movie, they don’t always plan ahead.

  • More than 8 in 10 young people like to hear about movies more than 3 months in advance of release and 65% get excited when seeing a trailer that’s not due for release for a while.
  • However, nearly two-thirds decide which movie to see within a few days of going (18% of this group decides the day of!).