New Study Tracks Ages, Gender of Moviegoers

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Tue, 06/04/2019 - 11:56 -- Nick Dager

Webedia Movies Pro today released the results of an extensive survey tracking moviegoer behavior over the course of a year. The study, commissioned by WMP and produced by Vertigo research, tracked the age and gender of more than 100,000 moviegoers over a year, polling a representative sample of 2,000 moviegoers weekly.

“Young women and moviegoers above 50 represent a very powerful yet untapped force at the box office,” said Marine Suttle, senior vice president, chief product officer, Webedia Movies Pro. “They are avid filmgoers and consistently lead weekly admissions. But not a lot of films capitalize on these audiences. Our white paper found a strong correlation between attendance and representation. To drive more of these moviegoers to the theater, it is imperative to have more representation on screen.”

On a whole, the study showed that 35.2 percent of U.S. moviegoers are above the age of 50; and 33.8 percent under the age of 25.

Digging deeper into these numbers, however, the study revealed trends regarding young female moviegoers and their untapped power at the box office. Women ages 15-24 lead weekly admissions, responsible for on average two million weekly admissions (compared with 1.7 million for their male counterparts, ages 15-24), leading by a factor of 1.18x. Female moviegoers ages 15-24 continuously and consistently lead in admissions compared to males of the same age, even with superhero movies and blockbusters with a majority male audience. (The one exception to this trend is the week of Aquaman’s release.)  

Compare this to the rate of female attendance to movies where females were the majority of the cast. Of the top 30 films from the surveyed time period, 30 percent of the cast was female. However, films with a majority of women in the audience had an average of 34 percent women represented in the cast.

The correlation between representation and attendance can be seen again in moviegoers above the age of 50. On average, only 25 percent of the cast in the top 30 films from the surveyed period was age 50 or above. The proportion almost doubles, reaching 49 percent, for films where moviegoers over the age of 50 represent the majority audience.

The full report, which is based on data collected from March 2018 to February 2019, can be requested by contacting [email protected]