Survey: Almost One in Four ‘Barbie’ Moviegoers Hadn’t Been to a Theater in a Long While

Just as the entertainment business is hitting a content desert due to ongoing talent strikes, a new survey from The Quorum has found that the blockbuster Barbie — which has earned more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide and is poised to top The Super Mario Bros. Movie as the biggest film of the year — has drawn consumers back into theaters.

The study found that nearly a quarter of Barbie moviegoers either hadn’t been to the theater since COVID-19 hit (11%) or couldn’t remember the last movie they had seen in a theater (11%).

Source: The Quorum

A good chunk (40%) of those surveyed said that the film reminded them how much they like going to the theater and that they will be going to the theater more often. Meanwhile, 45% said movies were too expensive and that the quality of the film would be key to making them splurge. Only 15% said it was a “one-off” experience.

Source: The Quorum

The Quorum surveyed nearly 1,800 Barbie moviegoers.

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Netflix: 55% of All Original Movies, Series From 2018 to 2021 Featured Female Lead or Co-Lead

Netflix April 27 reported that more than 50% of all lead roles in original movies and episodic programming on the service have been held by a girl or woman from 2018 to 2021, according to new data from the streamer’s joint equality study commissioned with the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

From 2020 to 2021, nearly half (47%) of Netflix movies and series featured a lead or co-lead from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. In 2021, 26.9% of directors on Netflix movies were women, compared with 12.7% across top-grossing movies that same year. And 38% of show creators in 2021 were women, substantially higher than 26.9% in 2018. 

Netflix said that women of color increased significantly as series directors from 5.6% in 2018 to 11.8% in 2021 — with similar growth for writer and creator roles. Nearly a third of films (27.7%) and more than half of series (54.75%) in 2021 had women of color as leads/co-leads.

The study — funded by $100 million over five years from the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity — was prompted in part by Bela Bajaria, chief content officer, whose Indian heritage she says helped her “to see stories from different perspectives.” The report aims to examine gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and disability in the streamer’s U.S.-commissioned movies and series.

“We committed to releasing our progress every two years through 2026 to help keep us accountable and effect lasting change in our industry,” Bajaria said in a statement.

Over the past two years, Netflix has invested $29 million in more than 100 programs, partnering with more than 80 organizations in more than 35 countries, according to Bajaria. The Fund has supported more than 4,500 creatives, including directors, producers, writers and visual effects artists. Additionally, short films from Netflix-funded programs have played at more than 40 film festivals.

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Bajoria said the streamer has placed 395 creatives from its social programs on Netflix productions in a variety of roles, ranging from line producers and associate editors to casting assistants and grips.

These trainees have worked on projects around the world, including “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” in the United Kingdom, “Lupin” in France, “Blood Sisters” in Nigeria, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!” in Canada, as well as “Day Shift” and “Rebel Moon” in the United States.

Participants in Netflix’s Series Director Development Program also directed episodes on “Ozark,’ “Family Reunion,” “On My Block” and “Lost in Space,” among others.

“We’re encouraged by this newest round of results and the impact we’re seeing through the first two years of the Fund,” Bajaria said in a statement. “But we know that driving real change, not only at Netflix but industry-wide, means continuing to think about whose voices are still missing and discovering the next generation of storytellers.”

Fandango Study: 86% of Moviegoers Plan to See More Movies on Big Screen This Summer

A great majority (86%) of moviegoers plan to see more movies on the big screen this summer compared to last year, according to a survey from online movie ticketing service Fandango.

Fandango’s 2023 Moviegoing Trends & Insights Study surveyed more than 6,000 ticket buyers about their moviegoing attitudes and behaviors over the past year, as well as their future purchase intent. The study also found 81% plan to see three or more movies in theaters this summer.

Moviegoer anticipation for the upcoming summer movie season is high, with 89% saying they are excited that this summer will have more movies coming to theaters than in previous years. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was voted the most anticipated movie of 2023 in a previous Fandango moviegoer survey, moviegoers said their top 10 most anticipated summer movies are, in order, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, The Flash, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, The Little Mermaid, Fast X, Barbie, Oppenheimer, Haunted Mansion and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.

“With a blockbuster slate of summer movies, fans are eager to see their favorite characters and franchises return to the big screen, as well as new original films, in the unmatched setting of a movie theater, with engaged fans, their favorite concessions and the best sound and visuals available,” Jerramy Hainline, SVP of Fandango Ticketing, said in a statement.

Two-thirds of all moviegoers surveyed said they prefer to watch blockbuster movies on the big screen as soon as they are released, while 84% said that seeing a film in a premium format makes the moviegoing experience better. Over half said they plan to see movies in a premium format this summer.

Nearly all of those surveyed subscribe to a streaming service, however they still feel that theatrical movies have higher quality compared to those released directly to a streaming service. Price also matters to moviegoers. If presented with the option, 80% of those surveyed expressed interest in purchasing discounted tickets for less popular showtimes, and that interest increases to 85% among moviegoers ages 18-34. Still, less than a third of moviegoers surveyed believe movie theaters should offer varied prices for different seat options in the same auditorium.

Still, the perception of cheaper prices and the convenience of watching in the comfort of their home are enticing motivators for consumers to stream at home, according to the survey. Indeed, 77% of those surveyed said that if the movie were available to stream on a service they subscribed to at home, it would influence their decision on whether to see that film in the theater. The top reason for streaming at home was price, with 59% saying that the cheaper price was a factor, growing from 41% at the same time last year.

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Fandango’s study results underscored that moviegoing continues to be a shared experience, with 63% of moviegoers saying they go with a spouse or partner, while half of moviegoers ages 18-34 said they go with friends and 56% go with children. Summer moviegoing also is a big part of American culture, with 68% saying they like to spend time with family and/or friends at the movies during the summer and 61% saying that going to the movies is a favorite summer activity.

Fandango’s moviegoer study was conducted during February and March 2023, surveying more than 6,000 moviegoers who bought a ticket with Fandango since January 2022. The demographic breakdown of the group was 62% ages 18 to 54, with 60% identifying as female, 39% male, and 1% non-binary. Of the moviegoers surveyed, 65% described themselves as Caucasian; 16% Latinx/Hispanic; 10% Black/African-American; 7% Asian/Pacific Islander; and 4% other. There were a few respondents who identified with multiple ethnicities.

Survey: Nearly 40% of Consumers Feel Satisfied After Binging Content

Many consumers aren’t ready to abandon their binge habits, with nearly two in five Americans (39%) reporting they feel satisfied after binge-watching content, according to a July 2022 survey.

The survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by free global streaming media platform Plex and OnePoll found that after binge-watching content, respondents also reported feeling relaxed (35%) and accomplished (28%), while 57% said they felt sad when they finish a show they really liked.

A majority of those surveyed (77%) said they had to do a lot of binge watching to get through their movie and TV watchlist.

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Meanwhile, 58% said they’d made it through their entire watchlist, while 42% said they had not; 39% said they feel like they could never make progress on their watchlist; and 33% said they had spent four to six hours watching content in a single sitting.

The top occasions when respondents said they were most likely to watch content from their watchlist included:

  • on a lazy weekend afternoon (41%);
  • when in the mood for it (40%);
  • movie/TV nights in (39%);
  • before bed (37%);
  • with their significant other (36%);
  • while working from home (29%);
  • while traveling (25%); and
  • when they are in a relaxed mood (23%).

Research: U.S. OTT Access Revenue Grew 37% to $39.4B in 2021

Convergence Research estimates U.S. OTT access revenue grew 37% to $39.4 billion in 2021 and forecasts $51 billion for 2022 and $69 billion for 2024.

That’s based on more than 75 OTT services (more than 50 providers) — led by Netflix, Disney/Hulu, Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery — analyzed in its 2022 Couch Potato Reports.

The firm forecasts 2022-24 annual U.S. OTT household penetration, subscriptions per household, and net OTT subscriptions added will each progressively see more moderate growth. Convergence forecasts 80 million additional U.S. subscriptions in 2022 and 50 million in 2024.

Convergence estimates 2021 U.S. cable, satellite, telco TV access revenue declined 4% to $91 billion and forecasts a decline of 6% to $85.5 billion in 2022 (hence ARPU should grow 3.5%), with higher revenue declines in 2023 and 2024. The firm estimates 2021 saw a decline of 6.5 million U.S. TV subscribers, 2020 a decline of 6.5 million, and forecasts a decline of 7 million TV subs in 2022 and 7.2 million in 2024. In its U.S. Cord Cutter/Never Household Model, as of year-end 2021, Convergence estimates 47% of U.S. households did not have a TV subscription with a cable, satellite, or telco TV access provider, up from 42% at the end of 2020. The firm projects that figure will rise to 53% by the end of 2022 and 64% by the end of 2024. 

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Convergence estimates 3.715 million U.S. residential broadband subscribers were added in 2021 (down from 5.1 million in 2020) and revenue grew 10% to $79.6 billion, and forecasts 4.3 million residential broadband subscriber additions in 2022 and 7% revenue growth to $85.5 billion. While cable dominates residential broadband and continues to add the largest share of residential broadband subs, telco and fixed-wireless sub additions continue to improve, according to the firm.

Study: Phase 4 of Marvel Cinematic Universe Least Favorite

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the least-favorite MCU phase so far, according to critical scores identified in a new study.

The findings come from the Critic Ratings Study, which analyzed the film ratings across three popular review platforms — Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and IMDb. 

The study found that films and TV shows featured in Phase 4 — starting with “WandaVision” and running through to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — are proving the least popular with fans so far, when compared with Phase 3, Phase 2 and Phase 1.

In fact, when compared to Phase 3 of the MCU (starting with Captain America: Civil War and ending with Spider-Man: Far From Home), Phase 4 has reported a 22% drop in ratings. 

Still, Phase 4 includes the highest-rated MCU film so far, Spider-Man: No Way Home (8.8/10), but it’s Eternals that pulls the average score down considerably as the lowest-rated film in the MCU to date (5.7/10). 

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Of the TV shows included in Phase 4, the highest-rated was “WandaVision,” while fans weren’t so keen on “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” or “Hawkeye.”

MCU Phases, best to worst:

  1. Phase 3 (Captain America: Civil War to Spider-Man: Far From Home)
  2. Phase 2 (Iron Man 3 to Ant-Man)
  3. Phase 1 (Iron Man to Marvel’s The Avengers)
  4. Phase 4 (“WandaVision” to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)

 

Phase 3 was the highest-rated period of Marvel films, with each film featured reporting an impressive average critic score of 7.9/10. 

Highest-rated MCU films, by cumulative IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home (8.8/10)
  2. Avengers: Endgame (8.6/10)
  3. Iron Man (8.6/10)
  4. Avengers: Infinity War (8.5/10)
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy (8.5/10)

Survey: Only a Quarter of U.S. Adults to Subscribe to Cable TV Within Next Few Years

While 59% of U.S. adults subscribe to cable TV right now, a new survey found that percentage will drop to 25% within the next few years.

The study, “How We Watch Now: U.S. Consumer Streaming Habits on YouTube and Other Connected TV Platforms,” comes from Pixability (www.pixability.com), a provider of software and insights for video advertising on YouTube and other leading connected TV (CTV) platforms. The study is based on a survey of more than 700 U.S. adults over 18.

Among those who will be cutting the cord, more than half (63%) will do so within the year. Among the 25% of adults who say they will still have cable in a few years, the highest concentration is adults over the age of 65.

According to the survey, YouTube viewers are now almost as likely to be watching YouTube on their TV as they are on their mobile device, and 83% of U.S. adults who watch YouTube do so on their TV, making it the second-most-popular device behind mobile (93%).

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“While we’re all aware of the shift from traditional TV to connected TV, this study revealed that the shift is accelerating faster than many people suspected,” David George, CEO of Pixability, said in a statement. “As this shift continues, YouTube’s viewership on TV screens is growing exponentially and it has become the top ad-supported platform for CTV reach — and a new mainstream option for TV advertisers.”

Other major findings of the study:

  • In addition to YouTube, four other AVOD services (Hulu, Roku, Peacock, Amazon Fire) comprise almost all ad-supported CTV viewing;
  • YouTube has a greater reach than any other streaming platform, reaching 87% of U.S. adults and 97% of those 25-34;
  • Consumers spend roughly an hour a day on YouTube and consume multiple categories of content — over 15 on average; and
  • 90% of Gen Z and Millennials in the U.S. now watch YouTube on TV screens.

Deloitte Digital Media Survey: Paid Streaming Service Churn Rate High, Especially Among Younger Generations

Paid streaming services are facing challenges. Churn is high, especially among younger people, and younger generations, especially Gen Z, actually prefer playing video games to watching video and spend a lot of time watching user-generated content rather than TV shows and movies.

That’s according to Deloitte’s 16th annual digital media trends survey. The U.S. survey was fielded by an independent research firm in December 2021 and employed an online methodology among 2,000 U.S. consumers. All data was weighted back to the most recent census data to give a representative view of consumer sentiment and behaviors. The survey was also fielded in the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and Japan in December 2021 and January 2022. All data from the global markets was weighted to be nationally representative.

The U.S. paid streaming service churn rate averaged 37%, with 33% of respondents both adding and canceling a service and 4% canceling a service in the past six months. The churn rate was even higher among Gen Z and Millennials, with more than half of those respondents either canceling or canceling and adding paid services in the past six months. The trend also held true globally, with average churn in the international territories surveyed at 30% and younger generations more likely to move in and out of services.

While access to original content (39%) and a broad range of content (38%) were the top two reasons U.S. consumers said they were subscribing to paid SVOD services, U.S. subscribers said they’re canceling paid SVOD services due to cost (41%), price increases (30%) and lack of new content (30%).

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While older generations said they prefer watching TV and movies at home, Gen Z respondents preferred video games as their favorite form of digital entertainment. About four in 10 (41%) U.S. consumers said they spend more time watching user-generated video content than they do TV shows and movies on video streaming services — a sentiment that increased to around 60% for Gen Zs and Millennials.

In the United States, 81% of social media users said they use social media services at least daily and 59% said they use these services several times a day, with younger generations (including Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X) leading the pack on social media usage.

In the United States, 80% of both men and women said they play video games, and half of smartphone owners said they play on a smartphone daily. Gen Z and Millennials said they play video games an average of 11 and 13 hours per week, respectively. Gen X gamers followed closely behind with around 10 hours of game play every week.

“While streaming video on-demand business models look much the same as they did when they were created 15 years ago, social media and gaming companies have quickly evolved their offerings, leveraging technology, and capitalizing on behaviors,” Jana Arbanas, vice chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. telecom, media and entertainment sector leader, said in a statement. “Social media is free and available anywhere, anytime, offering both passive and interactive experiences with endless streams of personalized content, without the cost of a subscription. And more people are interacting and socializing in game worlds that host millions of users, brands and franchises, and major non-gaming events. SVOD companies aren’t just competing with each other for audiences, they are also competing with different, more social and immersive forms of entertainment.” 

TV Time App Study: Half of Viewers Binge Most or All of Their Shows

Binge viewing is popular among global content viewers, with half saying they binge watch most or all of their shows, according to a new study from Whip Media’s TV Time app and Kauser Kanji.

Viewers don’t like to wait for episodes to roll out. More than three quarters of respondents (78%) said they prefer a simultaneous — rather than weekly — release of all episodes.

Serialized drama was the top binge genre with 87% of respondents saying they like to binge those type of shows; 40% said they like to binge sitcoms. Meanwhile, lifestyle/food/travel/home and garden shows, at 7%, and game shows, at 6%, were the-least liked genres to binge.

A large majority (81%) of respondents said that bingeable content was an important factor when thinking about subscribing to OTT services, with about one-third (31%) saying they had churned from a service because of lack of bingeable content.

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The definition of binging watching in a single viewing session varied from only 2% saying it was two episodes at once, to 24% saying it was three to 43% saying it was four, and 31% saying it was five or more.

The survey tallied 32,000 responses among active users of Whip Media’s TV Time app from seven countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden — Sept. 17-20, 2021. The TV Time app is used by 19 million global TV fans to track shows and movies. Download the study here

Black Audiences Increasingly Cutting the Cord

Black audiences are increasingly opting to cut the cord, a new Horowitz study finds.

Though black households were shedding cable at a slower rate as compared to the overall market, Horowitz data shows that over the past four years, MVPD penetration among black households has declined from 88% in 2017 to 61% in 2021 — a 25% decrease. Among black consumers who are cord-cutters, half have cut the cord within the past three years.

In 2018, 69% of black households were “content omnivores,” a term Horowitz coined in 2017 to describe households who are the hungriest for content and therefore pay for traditional MVPD services as well as a variety of streaming services to access all the content they want.

In this year’s study, only one in three (33%) black households are content omnivores; almost four in 10 rely on combinations of streaming services, digital antennas, and/or vMVPD services to access TV content (one in four rely only on traditional MVPD services and do not stream at all).

Income and age play important roles in platform choices, according to Horowitz. Black households with lower incomes are less likely to subscribe to traditional MVPDs, and 80% of black cord-cutters believe that they are saving at least a decent amount after having done so. Older black TV content viewers are more likely to subscribe to MVPD services (65% among those 50-plus) and to use antennas (28% among those 50-plus) than younger black TV content viewers (57% and 12% each, respectively).

Despite shedding the MVPD cord, there is still interest in many of the features of the multichannel experience. For example, 64% of black TV content viewers say that they enjoy flipping through channels, and the study finds that black TV content viewers still highly value live television, local broadcast news, national news and sports content — the mainstays of traditional providers.

Culturally relevant content is also in high demand among black audiences, with 60% of black consumers watching content geared to black audiences at least weekly.

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“Horowitz has long asserted that black consumers are some of the best customers for entertainment content and services,” Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s chief revenue officer and insights and strategy lead, said in a statement. “These audiences should not be taken for granted. Many companies are late to the game, only now focusing on the black audience in the context of BLM and new diversity mandates. To not be viewed as simply pandering, companies who hope to serve the black audience must make meaningful and sustained investments, not just in programming and marketing, but in community outreach and support, in order to earn this valuable audience’s trust.”