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Study: Theatrical Movie Choices Indicate Consumer Spending Habits

Want to jumpstart the economy? Make consumers watch Paramount Pictures’ sequel Top Gun: Maverick. That’s the sentiment of new data from National CineMedia, the cinema advertising network targeting moviegoers across Regal and Cinemark screens on a weekly basis.

Its joint study with consumer purchase research firm Affinity Solutions found a predictive relationship between in-theater movie experiences and elevated consumer spend. The study entitled “Economic Impact Study: Moviegoing as an Indicator of Spend” analyzed NCM audiences of over 8 million moviegoers per week and their spending habits using credit and debit cards.

The first part looked at the total spending by category between the months of March and June 2022. The second analyzed the specific spending habits of NCM audiences attending two of the biggest theatrical releases this year, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Top Gun: Maverick.

Doctor Strange generated $955 million at the global box office, including $411 million across North American screens. Maverick has generated $1.48 billion globally, including more than $716 million domestically.

Doctor Strange viewers (Gen Z and Millennials) spent more on flowers, jewelry, and online gaming. Maverick viewers (Gen X and Boomers) spent more on appliances and landscaping.

All moviegoers drive significant incremental spend but differ when it comes to their preferred brands. For example: Delta, T-Mobile, and McDonald’s received an incremental sales lift from attendees of Doctor Strange. Amazon, United Airlines and Disney received incremental sales lift from attendees of Top Gun: Maverick.

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Indeed, the report found that moviegoers are highly active consumers, demonstrating twice the spending compared to non-moviegoers across categories such as retail, dining, travel and automotive. Regardless of what day the attendees went to the movies, these consumers spent more at bars and restaurants and on sporting goods, apparel and digital content than those who stay home.

“The data has validated what we have always known — that moviegoers have their wallets out and are spending more than non-moviegoers, with their preferred brands,” said Manu Singh, SVP insights, analytics and sales data strategy, at NCM, in a statement.

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